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1. God: His Knowability, Essence, and At 

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ST. LOUIS, MO., 1916 



Sti. Ludovici, die j, Nov. 


Censor Librorum 

Sti. Ludovici, die j, Nov. 1915 



Sti. Ludovici 


Joseph Gummersbach, 

All Rights Reserved 
Printed in U. S. A. 







CH. I. The Divinity of Christ 10 

CH. II. The Humanity of Christ 39 

i. Reality and Integrity of Christ s Sacred Humanity 41 
ART. i. The Reality of Christ s Sacred Humanity, 

as Defined Against the Docetae .... 41 
ART. 2. The Integrity of Christ s Sacred Humanity, 
as Defined Against Arianism and Apol- 

linarianism 48 

2. The Adamic Origin of the Human Nature of 

Christ 61 

3. The Passibility of Christ s Human Nature ... 72 


CH. i. The Dogma of the Hypostatic Union 87 

i. The Hypostatic Union of the Two Natures in 

Christ 89 

ART. i. The Positive Dogmatic Teaching of Revela 
tion, as Defined Against Nestorius ... 89 
ART. 2. Speculative Development of the Dogma of 

the Hypostatic Union 116 

2. The Inconfusion of the Two Natures in Christ . 147 
ART. i. The Existence of One Divine Person in 
Two Perfect Natures, as Defined Against 

Monophysitism 147 

ART. 2. The Existence of Two Wills in Christ, as 

Defined Against Monothelitism .... 154 



3. The Inseparability of the Two Natures in Christ . 166 
CH. II. The Effects of the Hypostatic Union . . . .178 
i. The Attributes of Christ According to His Di 
vinity 179 

ART. i. The Perichoresis of the Two Natures in 

Christ 179 

ART. 2. The Communication of Idioms . . . .184 
ART. 3. The Divine Sonship of Christ, as Denned 

Against Adoptionism 196 

2. The Attributes of Christ According to His Hu 
manity 207 

ART. i. The Ethical Perfection of Christ s Human 

Will, or His Holiness 207 

ART. 2. The Human Knowledge of Christ . . . 247 
ART. 3. The Adorableness of Christ s Humanity . 278 


INDEX 299 


In treating of God as the Author of Nature 
and the Supernatural, 1 we showed how the har 
mony of angelic as well as human nature was 
seriously disturbed by sin. 

For some reason not revealed to us the fallen 
angels were beyond redemption. St. Thomas 
thinks that, as they were pure spirits, once they 
had determined upon evil, their free will became 
unalterably fixed therein. Other divines hold 
that the fallen angels were unable to undo their 
choice because the decision they had made ter 
minated the status viae. 

The human race immediately after the Fall was 
reinstated in grace by virtue of the Protevangel- 
ium, i. e. } God s solemn promise that the Second 
Person of the Trinity should redeem the sinful 
race and reconstitute it in the state of adoptive 
sonship. "Where sin abounded, grace did more 
abound." 2 

Intimately bound up with the mystery of the 
Incarnation is that of the Redemption. Jesus 
Christ, the Redeemer, Son of God, and Himself 

l Pohle-Preuss, God the Author 2 " Ubi autem abundavit delictum, 

ef Nature and the Supernatural, superabundavit gratia." Rom. V, 

St. Louis 1912. 20. 




3. The Inseparability of the Two Natures in Christ . 166 
CH. II. The Effects of the Hypostatic Union . . . .178 
i. The Attributes of Christ According to His Di 
vinity 179 

ART. i. The Perichoresis of the Two Natures in 

Christ 179 

ART. 2. The Communication of Idioms .... 184 
ART. 3. The Divine Sonship of Christ, as Denned 

Against Adoptionism 196 

2. The Attributes of Christ According to His Hu 
manity 207 

ART. i. The Ethical Perfection of Christ s Human 

Will, or His Holiness 207 

ART. 2. The Human Knowledge of Christ . . . 247 
ART. 3. The Adorableness of Christ s Humanity . 278 


INDEX 299 


In treating of God as the Author of Nature 
and the Supernatural, 1 we showed how the har 
mony of angelic as well as human nature was 
seriously disturbed by sin. 

For some reason not revealed to us the fallen 
angels were beyond redemption. St. Thomas 
thinks that, as they were pure spirits, once they 
had determined upon evil, their free will became 
unalterably fixed therein. Other divines hold 
that the fallen angels were unable to undo their 
choice because the decision they had made ter 
minated the status viae. 

The human race immediately after the Fall was 
reinstated in grace by virtue of the Protevangel- 
ium, L e., God s solemn promise that the Second 
Person of the Trinity should redeem the sinful 
race and reconstitute it in the state of adoptive 
sonship. "Where sin abounded, grace did more 
abound." 2 

Intimately bound up with the mystery of the 
Incarnation is that of the Redemption. Jesus 
Christ, the Redeemer, Son of God, and Himself 

l Pohle-Preuss, God the Author 2 " Ubi autem abundavit delictum, 

ef Nature and the Supernatural, superabundant gratia." Rom. V, 
St. Louis 1912. 20. 


true God, 3 offered Himself up as a sacrifice (in 
His human nature), and gave adequate satis 
faction for our sins by His agonizing death on 
the Cross. "For God indeed was in Christ, 
reconciling the world to himself by Christ, not 
imputing to them their sins." 

In this dogmatic treatise on the Incarnation, 
we assume the existence of Jesus Christ as a 
historical fact, leaving it to Apologetics to re 
fute such infidel objections as that the Gospel 
story is merely a legendary reflex of the Gil- 
gamesh epic, 5 etc. 

In regard to the mysteries of the Incarnation 
and Redemption, Divine Revelation proposes to 
our belief two distinct series of truths. Those 
which concern the Person of the Redeemer form 
the ground-work of the dogmatic treatise called 
Christology; those which refer specifically to 
the Redemption are dealt with in Soteriology, 
to which we shall devote a separate volume. The 
Blessed Virgin Mary, as Deipara, is causally re 
lated both to the Incarnation and the Redemption, 
and must therefore be treated in connection with 
both. This gives us another separate treatise, 
called Mariology, which will form the sixth vol 
ume of the present series. 

3 Cfr. Pohle-Preuss, The Divine alttestamentlichen Patriarchen-, 
Trinity, St. Louis, Mo., 1912, pp. Propheten- und Befreiersage und der 
49 sqq. neutestamentlichen Jesus-Sage, p. 

4 2 Cor. V, 19. 1030, Strassburg 1906. Cfr. The 

5 See P. Jensen, Das Gilgamesch- Catholic Fortnightly Review, Vol. 
Epos, Vol. I: Die Ursprunge der XVII (1910), Nos. 4 and 5. 


i. In treating of the dogma of the Divine 
Trinity we based our exposition upon the "Atha- 
nasian Creed." 1 According to this same eccle 
siastical symbol we will also divide the treatise on 
Christology, treating ( i ) of "Duality in Unity," 2 
or the constitutive elements of Christ, and (2) of 
"Unity in Duality/ or the Hypostatic Union. 3 

The significant parallel between the two dogmatic 
treatises seems to point to an analogical relation between 
their respective subjects. Such a relation does indeed 
exist. Both treatises are concerned with transcendental 
mysteries which revolve about the concepts of " Na 
ture " and " Hypostasis," and their mutual relations. 

It would not, however, be correct to conclude from 
this analogy that Christ, in respect of the relation of 
Nature to Person, is a perfect image of the Trinity. 
There is a very essential distinction. In the Blessed 
Trinity one Divine Nature subsists in three divine Hy- 
postases (or Persons), who possess a real and identical 
nature in common; whereas in Christ two distinct and 
complete natures, one divine, the other human, sub 
sist in one Hypostasis, i. e., the Divine Person of the 
Logos. Or, to put it somewhat differently, the Blessed 

1 Cfr. Pohle-Preuss, The Divine 3 Unitas in dualitate, unio hypo- 
Trinity, pp. 5 sqq. statica. 

2 Dualitas in unitate. 


Trinity forms a real Trinity of Persons in an absolute 
Unity of Nature, whereas in Christ there is a duality 
of Natures in an absolute Unity of Person. 

This twofold element in the constitution of the God- 
man is clearly stated in the " Athanasian Creed " : 
"Est ergo fides recta, ut credamus et connteamur, quia 
Dominus nosier lesus Christus Dei Filius, Deus et homo 
est. 4 Deus est ex substantia Patris ante saecula genitus, 
et homo est ex substantia matris in saeculo natus: per- 
fectus Deus, perfectus homo, ex anima rationale et hu- 
mana came subsistens, aequalis Patri secundum divini- 
tatem, minor Patre secundum humanitatem. Qui licet 
Deus sit et homo, non duo tamen, scd unus est Christus; 5 
unns autem non conversione divinitatis in carnem, sed 
assumptione humanitatis in Deum, unus omnino non con- 
fusione substantiae, sed unitate personae." Anglice: 
" For the right faith is that we believe and confess that 
our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man ; 
God, of the Substance of the Father, begotten before the 
worlds; and Man, of the substance of His mother, born 
in the world ; perfect God, and perfect Man : of a rea 
sonable soul and human flesh subsisting; equal to the 
Father, as touching His Godhead: and inferior to the 
Father, as touching His Manhood. Who although He 
be God and Man: yet He is not two, but one Christ; 
one; not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh: but 
by taking of the Manhood into God; one altogether; 
not by confusion of substance : but by unity of Person." ( 

4 Dualitas in unitate. 1911, n. 40. For brevity s sake 

5 Unitas in dualitate. we shall hereafter cite this work 

6 Enchiridion Symbolorum, Defini- as Denzinger-Bannwart, Enchiri- 
tionum et Declarationum de Rebus dion. Our translation of the Atha- 
Fidei et Morum Auctore Henrico nasian Creed is that of the Eng- 
Denzinger. Editio undecima, Enien- lish Book of Common Prayer. We 
data et Aucta, quam paravit Clemens quote verbatim, literatim et punc- 
Bannwart, S. J., Friburgi Brisgoviae tatim from the Oxford edition of 


2. Defining the essential constitution of man 
in our treatise on Dogmatic Anthropology 7 we 
answered two questions, viz.: (i) How many 
constitutive elements are there in man? and (2) 
How are these elements united? We ascer 
tained by the light of Divine Revelation that 
there is in man a real "duality in unity," in as 
much as he is composed of a material body essen 
tially informed by a spiritual soul. 

Similarly, though not in precisely the same 
sense, we may ask: (i) What is the number 
of constitutive elements in Christ? and (2) 
How are these elements united? 

Revelation answers these two questions thus: 
(i) There are two constitutive elements in 
Christ, a divine nature and a human nature; 
and (2) these two natures are united hypo- 
statically. The "Athanasian Creed" points out 
this analogy when it says : "For as the reasona 
ble soul and flesh is one man : so God and Man is 
one Christ." 8 

According to Cardinal Franzelin the dogma of the In 
carnation may be most effectively expounded from the 
following points of view : ( i ) Who assumed human 
nature? (2) What did the Son of God assume? (3) 

1834. Cfr. Pohle-Preuss, God: His 8 "Nam sicut anima rationales et 

Knowability, Essence, and Attri- caro unus est homo, ita Deus et 

butes, p. 318, note 6. homo unus est Christus." 

1 See Pohle-Preuss, God the Au- 9 Cfr. Franzelin, De Verbo In- 

thor of Nature and the Supernal- carnato, thes. i, 4th ed., Rome 1910. 
ural, pp. 124 sqq. 


How are Divinity and humanity united in Christ? (4) 
Why did the Son of God hypostatically assume a human 
nature? The answer to the first question (quis?) is: 
The Divine Logos. The answer to the second question 
(quidf) is : A real and genuine human nature. The an 
swer to the third question (quomodo?} is : Godhead and 
manhood are hypostatically united in Christ. The answer 
to the fourth question (ad quid?} is: The Son of God 
assumed flesh in order to redeem the human race. 

Of these questions the first three alone belong to Chris- 
tology proper ; the fourth finds its place in Soteriology. 

The division we have chosen coincides materially, 
though not formally, with that suggested by Cardinal 
Franzelin. The only difference is that we base our expo 
sition on the " Athanasian Creed." Our reasons for so 
doing are purely didactic. The concept " duality in 
unity " contains the reply to the questions quis? and quid?, 
while the answer to quomodof is supplied by the concept 
of " unity in duality." 

It may be objected that the so-called Athanasian 
Creed is not the work of St. Athanasius and lacks the 
authority of a primitive symbol. We reply that, though 
" of Western origin and . . . composed (probably) 
during the fifth century in Southern Gaul," 10 this 
symbol is " an admirable resume of the doctrine of 
Athanasius. ... In the West it was recited at Prime 
since the ninth century, was used by the clergy in giving 
popular instruction as a summary of Christian doctrine, 
and was held in particular esteem as a basis and criterion 
of ecclesiastical faith." " Dr. Kiinstle holds 12 that the 

10 Its authorship is variously at- ogy, p. 255, Freiburg and St. Louis 
tributed to Honoratus of Aries, 1908. 

Eusebius of Vercelli, and Vincent 12 Antipriscilliana, pp. 204 sqq., 

of Lerins. Freiburg 1905. 

11 Bardenhewer-Shahan, Patrol- 


Athanasian Creed was written in Spain against Priscil- 
lianism, while H. Brewer 13 attributes it to St. Ambrose. 

We now enter upon the treatment of Christology ac 
cording to the division already indicated, viz.: (i) 
Duality in Unity, or the Constitutive Elements of Christ, 
and (2) Unity in Duality, or the Hypostatic Union of 
the two Natures in Christ. 

GENERAL READINGS : Among the Fathers : Athanasius, De In- 
carnatione Verbi (Migne, P.G., XXV, 95 sqq., 938 sqq.). * Cyril 
of Alexandria (Migne, P.G., LXXV, LXXVI). Leontius, Adv. 
Nest, et Eutych. (Migne, P.G., LXXXVI, 1267 sqq.). Maximus 
Confessor (Migne, P.G., XC, XCI). The teaching of these 
writers is summarized by St. John Damascene, De Fide Ortho- 
doxa, I III (Migne, P.G., XCIV). On the teaching of Theo- 
doret see A. Bertram, Theodoreti Episcopi Cyrensis Doctrina 
Christ ologic a, Hildesheim 1883. On the doctrine of St. Cyril, 
cfr. A. Rehrmann, Die Christ ologie des hi. Cyrillus von Alexan- 
drien, Hildesheim 1902. 

The student may also consult with profit St. Augustine s En 
chiridion (Migne, P.L., XC; English translation by J. F. Shaw, 
in Vol. IX of The Works of Aurelius Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, 
3rd ed., Edinburgh 1892) ; St. Ambrose, De Incarnat. Dominicae 
Sacram. (Migne, P.L., XVI, 817 sqq.), and Fulgentius, De In- 
carnatione Filii Dei (Migne, P.L., LXV). 

Among the Schoolmen : * St. Thomas, S. Theol., 33, qu. i- 
26 (summarized in Freddi-Sullivan, Jesus Christ the Word In 
carnate, Considerations Gathered from the Works of the An 
gelic Doctor St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Louis 1904; A. Vonier, 
O. S. B., The Personality of Christ, London 1915 ("a very 
unconventional rendering of the most important points of the 
third part of the Summa." Preface, p. vi). *!DEM, Contr. 
Gent., IV, 27 sqq. (Rickaby, Of God and His Creatures, pp. 
359 sqq., London 1905). Billuart, De Incarnatione , t. V, ed. 
Lequette. Salmanticenses, De Incarn., Vols. 13-16, ed. Paris 1870 
sq. Suarez, De Incarn., Lugd. 1592. *Bellarmine, De Christo, 
t. I, ed. Vives, Paris 1870. *De Lugo, De Mysterio Incarna- 
tionis, t. II, III, ed. Vives, Paris 1890-92. Gregory of Valentia, 
De Incarn. Divini Verbi, Venice 1600. *Ysambert, De Mysterio 
Incarnationis, Paris 1639. Wirceburgenses (Holtzclau, S. J.), 

13 Das sogenannte Athanasianische Glaubensbekenntnis ein Werk des hi. 
Ambrosius, Paderborn 1909. 


De Incarn. Verbi, Vol. VI, ed. Paris 1879. Legrand, Tract, de 
Incarn. Verbi Divini (Migne, Cursus Compl., t. IX, Paris 1860). 

Fr. I. Bertieri, De Verbo Dei Incarnate, Vindob. 1773. 
Among later theological writers : Bautz, Einig. B. Jungmann, 

Heinrich, Hurter, Hunter, van Noort, in their respective text 
books. Also *Franzelin, De Verbo Incarnato, ed. 6, Romae 
1910. *F. A. Stentrup, De Verbo Incarnato, I: Christologia, 
2 vols., Oeniponte 1882. *L. Billot, De Verbo Incarnato, ed. 5, 
Romae 1912. Chr. Pesch, Praelect. Dogmat., t. IV, ed. 3, Fri- 
burgi 1909. G. B. Tepe, Instit. Theol, Vol. Ill, Paris 1896. 
*L. Janssens, De Deo-Homine, I: Christologia, Friburgi 1901. 

C. v. Schazler, Das Dogma von der Menschwerdung Gottes, 
Freiburg 1870. Oswald, Die Erlosung in Christo Jesu, 2 vols., 
2nd ed., Paderborn 1887. Scheeben, Dogmatik, Vols. II and III, 
Freiburg 1878 sq. (summarized in Wilhelm-Scannell, A Manual 
of Catholic Theology Based on Scheeben s "Dogmatik," Vol. 
II, pp. 45 sqq., 2nd ed., London 1901). IDEM, Die Mysterien des 
Christentums, 3d ed., Freiburg 1912. H. P. Liddon, The Di 
vinity of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (Bampton Lec 
tures) London, Oxford, and Cambridge 1867. E. C. Minjard, 
L J Homme-Dieu, 2 vols., Paris 1898-99. I. Souben, Le Verbe 
Incarne, Paris 1902. E. Krebs, Der Logos als Heiland im ersten 
Jahrhundert, Freiburg 1910. Cfr. also W. Drum, art. " Incarna 
tion " in Vol. VII of the Catholic Encyclopedia. 

On the history of the dogma, consult *Schwane, Dogmenge- 
schichte, Vols. I and II, 2nd ed., Freiburg 1892-95. *J. Bach, 
Dogmengeschichte des Mittelaltcrs vom christologischen Stand- 
punkte, 2 vols., Vienna 1873-75. H. Kihn, Patrologie, 2 vols., 
Paderborn 1904-08. J. Tixeront, History of Dogmas, Vol. I. 
English ed., St. Louis 1911; Vol. II, 1914; Vol. Ill, 1916. 

Against Modernism: M. Lepin, S. S., Christ and the Gospel, 
or Jesus the Messiah and Son of God, Engl. tr., Philadelphia 1910. 

M. E. Mangenot, Christologie, Commentaire des Propositions 
XXVII-XXXVIII du Decret du Saint-Office " Lamentabili," 
Paris 1910. 

On the Christological teaching of St. Paul, cfr. F. Prat, S. J., 
La Theologie de Saint Paul, Vol. II, pp. 165-243, Paris 1912. 



Jesus Christ is true God; more specifically, He 
is the Son of God, or Logos, and consequently 
the Second Person of the Divine Trinity. As 
Son of the Virgin-Mother Mary He is also true 

We therefore divide the first part of this 
volume into two Chapters: (i) The Divinity 
of Christ, and (2) His Humanity. 



i. STATE OF THE QUESTION. Having given 
a full dogmatic demonstration of the Divinity of 
Jesus Christ in our treatise on the Trinity, 1 we 
here confine ourselves to showing how that dem 
onstration is to be regarded for the purposes of 

In our treatise on the Blessed Trinity we had merely 
to establish the fact that there are Three Divine Persons 
in one Divine Nature, viz.: Father, Son, and Holy 
Ghost. That the Son of God became man did not 
concern us there. In expounding the dogma of the 
Trinity, therefore, it would not have been necessary 
to deal with the historic fact of the Incarnation were 
it not for the circumstance that nearly all the Scrip 
tural and Patristic texts which can be adduced to 
prove the existence of the Divine Logos (Ao yos ao-ap/cos) 
are based on the existence of Jesus Christ as the Godman 
or Word Incarnate (Ao yos evo-a/oKos). 

St. John the Evangelist, in describing the Logos as 
He existed before all time in His eternal Godhead, 2 did 
not fail to add the significant statement: "And the 

1 Pohle-Preuss, The Divine Trin- man, Tracts Theological and Ec- 
ity, PP- 63-96, St. Louis 1912. clesiastical, pp. 228 sq., new ed., 

2 John I, i sqq. Cfr. J. H. New- London 1895. 



Word was made flesh/ 3 Following his example the 
Fathers invariably identified the Divine Logos, or Son 
of God, with Jesus of Nazareth. Accordingly, nearly 
all the texts which can be gathered from Patristic lit 
erature in favor of the dogma of the Divine Trinity, 
have a Christological as well as a Trinitarian bearing. 
In other words, the Scriptural and Patristic teaching on 
the Divinity of Christ proves the existence of a Sec 
ond Person in the Blessed Trinity (and therefore the 
dogma of the Trinity) quite as clearly and stringently 
as the Scriptural and Patristic teaching on the Incarna 
tion of the Logos demonstrates the dogma of Christ s 
Divinity. It is due to this close interrelation of the two 
dogmas that the fundamental Christological thesis with 
which we are here concerned has really, for the most 
part, been already established in the treatise on the Di 
vine Trinity. 4 

Generally speaking, the Divinity of Christ may 
be demonstrated either dogmatically or apologet 

The dogmatic argument rests on the inspira 
tion of Holy Scripture and the dogmatic va 
lidity of the evidence furnished by Tradition. 

The apologetic argument has a much broader 
basis. It is both historical and philosophical. 
It takes the Bible as a genuine and credible docu 
ment and from it, in connection with pagan and 
Jewish sources, proves that Jesus Christ is true 

3Kai 6 Aoyos <rap% cyevero. * Cfr. Pohle-Preuss, The Divine 

John I, 14. Trinity, 1. c. 



For the apologetic argument in proof of 
Christ s Divinity we may refer the reader to 
any approved text-book of Christian Apologetics. 5 
The dogmatic argument, as we have already 
noted, is set forth with considerable fulness in 
our own treatise on the Divine Trinity. We 
will merely recapitulate it here. 

ture teaches that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, 
that He is true God and the Divine Logos. 
With this teaching Ecclesiastical Tradition 
is in perfect accord. The contrary doctrine was 
rejected as heretical very early in the Church s 
history, and we may therefore truly say that mod 
ern Rationalism stands condemned at the bar of 
Primitive Christianity. 

a) The Scriptural doctrine concerning the 
Second Person of the Blessed Trinity culminates 
in these three propositions : ( i ) Christ is truly 
and properly the Son of God, consubstantial with 
the Father; therefore (2) He is not an ordinary 
man, but true God as well as man; (3) "Logos" 
is merely another name for the Second Person of 
the Divine Trinity, who became incarnate in 
Jesus Christ. 

5 For instance, Devivier-Sasia, Revealed Religion, pp. 130 sqq., and 

Christian Apologetics, or A Rational ed., London s. a.; P. Schanz, A 

Exposition of the Foundations of Christian Apology, 4th ed., New 

Faith, Vol. I, pp. 33 sqq., San York s. a.; O. R. Vassall-Phillips, 

Jose, Cal., 1903. Cfr. also Bou- The Mustard Tree. An Argument 

gaud-Currie, The Divinity of Christ, on Behalf of the Divinity of Christ, 

New York 1906; Hettinger-Bowden, London 1912. 



a) The Biblical argument for the Divinity of 
Christ rests upon the fact that Scripture de 
scribes and declares Him to be really and truly 
the Son of God. How absolutely conclusive this 
argument is, appears from the desperate efforts 
made by contemporary Rationalists and Modern 
ists to weaken its force by attributing to Christ 
a divine sonship wholly foreign to that meant by 
the inspired writers. 

Thus Harnack writes : " The Gospel, as Jesus pro 
claimed it, has to do with the Father only and not with 
the Son." 6 According to this Rationalist theologian 
" the whole of the Gospel is contained " in the formula : 
" God and the soul, the soul and its God." 7 But did 
not Christ Himself put His Divine Sonship prominently 
in the foreground so much so that our belief in the 
existence of the Father as the First Person of the 
Blessed Trinity, in its last analysis really rests upon this 
emphatic self-assertion of the Son? 8 Harnack cannot 
deny that " this Jesus who preached humility and knowl 
edge of self, nevertheless named himself, and himself 
alone, as the Son of God." 9 But he prefers to call this 
astonishing fact a psychological riddle and pleads ig 
norance of its meaning. " How he [Jesus] came to 
this consciousness of the unique character of his relation 
to God as a Son ... is his secret, and no psychology 
will ever fathom it." 10 To solve this enigma, if 

6 A. Harnack, Das Wesen des 8 Cfr. Pohle-Preuss, The Divine 
Christ entums, p. 91, Leipzig 1902 Trinity, pp. 44. 

(English translation, What is Chris- 9 Das Wesen des Christ entums, p. 

tianity? by T. B. Saunders, 2nd 81 (English translation, p. 139). 

ed., p. 154, London 1908). 10 Ibid., p. 81 (English transla- 

7 Ibid., p. 90 (English translation, tion, p. 138). 
P- 153). 


Harnack s theory were true, would be the business of 
psychiatry rather than of psychology, for in that case 
Jesus Christ was either a fool or a knave. Unwilling to 
take either horn of the dilemma, Harnack can find no 
other way out of the difficulty than the assumption that 
" The sentence I am the Son of God was not inserted in 
the Gospel by Jesus himself, and to put that sentence there 
side by side with the others is to make an addition to 
the Gospel." al It is difficult to imagine a more frivolous 
asseveration. Even the superficial reader can easily see 
that to obliterate this sentence would be to take away an 
essential part of the Gospel. Cfr. John IX, 35 sqq. : 
" Dost thou believe in the Son of God ? He answered, 
and said : Who is he, Lord, that I may believe in him ? 
And Jesus said to him: Thou hast both seen him, and 
it is he that talketh with thee." 12 

To realize the hollowness of Harnack s contention we 
need but reflect that Jesus suffered torture and death 
deliberately and with a solemn oath in confirmation of His 
claim that He was the Son of God. 13 

The appellation " Son of man," 14 which Jesus applied 
to Himself with predilection, and which in no wise de 
tracts from His other name, " Son of God," was no doubt 
designed to safeguard the doctrine of His humanity 
against future errors, such as that of the Docetae. 15 
We should remember, however, that in calling Him- 

11 Ibid., p. 92 (English transla- burgh 1897. Cfr. also H. P. Lid- 
tion, p. 156). don, The Divinity of Our Lord and 

12 On the teaching of St. John Saviour Jesus Christ, pp. 311 sqq., 
and St. Paul concerning the Logos, 454 sqq., and J. Lebreton, Les Ori- 
see Pohle-Preuss, The Divine Trin- gines du Dogme de la Trinite, pp. 
ity, pp. 88 sqq., St. Louis 1912; on 291 sqq., 364 sqq., 495 sqq., 515 
that of St. Paul in particular, F. sqq., Paris 1910. 

Prat, La Theologie de Saint Paul, 13 Pohle-Preuss, op. cit., pp. 54 

Vol. II, pp. 67 sqq., 165 sqq., Paris sqq. 

1912; D. Somerville (Prot.), St. 14 6 u^s TOV dvffpdnrov. 

Paul s Conception of Christ, Edin- 15 See infra, pp. 41 sqq. 


self " Son of Man," Jesus evidently had in mind 
the famous prophecy of Daniel, which heralded the 
Messias by this very name. " Aspiciebarn ergo in 
visione noctis, et ecce cum nubibus coeli quasi Filius 
hominis ( #JK -Q3 ) veniebat et usque ad antiquum dierum 
pervenit: et in conspectu eius obtulerunt eum. Et dedit 
ei potestatem et honorem et regnum, et omnes populi, 
tribus et linguae ipsi serment; potestas eius potestas ae- 
terna, quae non auferetur, et regnum eius, quod non cor- 
rumpetur I beheld therefore in the vision of the night, 
and lo, one like the son of man came with the clouds 
of heaven, and he came even to the Ancient of days: 
and they presented him before him. And he gave him 
power, and glory, and a kingdom : and all peoples, tribes, 
and tongues shall serve him : his power is an everlasting 
power that shall not be taken away: and his kingdom 
that shall not be destroyed." 16 With unmistakable ref 
erence to this prophecy Christ tells His Apostles that " the 
Son of man shall be betrayed " and delivered to the 
Gentiles, " to be mocked, and scourged, and crucified, 
and the third day he shall rise again." ir With this 
same text in mind He assures Caiphas that he " shall 
see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of the 
power of God, and coming in the clouds of heaven." 18 

ft) If Christ is truly the Son of God, it log 
ically follows that He is true God. 19 For He 

16 Dan. VII, 13 sqq. burg 1907; A. Seitz, Das Evan- 

17 Matth. XX, 1 8 sq. gelium vom Gottessohn, eine Apo- 

18 Matth. XXVI, 64. Cfr. B. logie der wesenhaften Gottessohn- 
Bartmann, Das Himmelreich und schaft Christi, pp. 310 sqq., Frei- 
sein Konig nach den Synoptikern, burg 1908. 

pp. 85 sqq., Paderborn 1904; H. 19 Cfr. Pohle-Preuss, God: His 

Schell, Jahwe und Christus, pp. Knowability, Essence, and Attri- 

332 sqq., Paderborn 1905; Fr. butes, pp. 63 sqq. 
Tillmann, Der Menschensohn, Frei- 


who originates in the substance of God must be 
consubstantial with God, because He participates 
in the Divine Nature by eternal generation. In 
the mouth of Christ, therefore, "Son of God" 
signifies nothing less, but rather something more 
than "God," because it is through our Lord s 
Sonship rather than through His Divinity that 
we arrive at a knowledge of the truth that there 
are three Persons in one Godhead. 20 

The Divinity of Christ can also be proved from 
the various divine attributes ascribed to Him in 
Sacred Scripture, the divine worship (latria) 
which He exacted and received, 21 and the applica 
tion to Him of the predicate "God." 22 The argu 
ments based on the divine attributes ascribed to 
Jesus and the latreutic adoration offered to Him, 
sufficiently disprove the Rationalist contention 
that He is called "God" in a metaphorical sense 
only, as, e. g., Moses was called the "god of 
Pharaoh." 23 Moreover, Christ is called "God" 
in precisely the same sense in which the Old 
Testament applies the term to Yahweh Him 
self. 24 

Our main proof rests upon the ascription to Christ by 
Holy Scripture of such distinctively divine attributes as 
self-existence, eternity, immutability, creative power, om- 

20 Cfr. J. Kleutgen, Theologie 22 See Pohle-Preuss, The Divine 
der Vorzeit, Vol. Ill, pp. 38 sq., Trinity, pp. 63 sqq. 

2nd ed., Minister 1870. 23 Ex. VII, i. 

21 V. infra, pp. 282 sq. 24 Pohle-Preuss, /. c., pp. 79 sqq. 


nisciencc, universal dominion, etc., rather than upon the 
fact that it applies to Him the abstract predicate of 
" God." 

In our treatise on the Blessed Trinity we cited five 
New Testament texts in which Christ is expressly called 
" God." 25 There is a sixth, which would be even more 
conclusive, were it not for the fact that textual criticism 
throws a doubt upon its authenticity. A few Greek 
codices, and several of the Fathers, 26 interpret this 
obscure passage as referring to the " apparition of God 
in the flesh." It reads as follows: " Et manifeste ma 
gnum est pietatis sacramentum, quod manifest atum est 
in came" Our English Bible renders it thus : " And 
evidently great is the mystery of godliness, which was 
manifested in the flesh." 27 The textus receptus has : 

Kat 6/xoAoyou/xev(o5 /teya eori TO TTJ<S evcre/:?etas fjLvcrTrjpiov os 

[eos] (f>avp(aOrj iv trap/a. It is easy to see how in a 
large-letter Greek manuscript 2 (== 0eos) could be mis 
read for O2 (=os). 

The Scriptural argument for the Divinity of Christ, 
as set forth in our treatise on the Trinity, may be sup 
plemented from other New Testament writers besides 
the Synoptics and SS. John and Paul. 

That St. Peter really addressed Jesus as his " God " 
and " Saviour," as the Evangelists relate, 28 is confirmed 
by the opening words of his Second Epistle : " Simon 
Petrus . . . Us qui coaequalem nobiscum sortiti sunt 
fidem in iustitia Dei nostri et Salvatoris lesu Christi 
Simon Peter ... to them that have obtained equal 
faith with us in the justice of our God and Saviour 

25 John XX, 28; Tit. II, 13; i 27 i Tim. Ill, 16. 

John V, 20; Rom. IX, 5; and John 28 Matth. XIV, 28; XVI, 16; John 

I, i. VI, 69; XXI, 17; cfr. Acts III, 6, 

26 E. g,, Gregory of Nyssa. 15; IV, 10. 


Jesus Christ," 29 and in 2. Pet. I, 1 1 : " Sic enim abun- 
danter ministrabitur vobis introitus in aeternum regnum 
Domini nostri et Salvatoris lesu Christi For so an en 
trance shall be ministered to you abundantly into the ever 
lasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." 
The apposition " our Lord and Saviour " manifestly 
refers to Christ, and the parallelism running through 
the whole passage demands that the attributes " our God " 
and " Saviour " in the first verse of the Epistle be applied 
to the one person of " Jesus Christ." This interpreta 
tion is confirmed by the circumstance that the definite 
article is used but once (TOV eov rjp-wv /cat [no TOV here] 

St. Jude attests that it was Jesus who " saved the peo 
ple out of the land of Egypt." 31 Jesus must therefore 
be identical with Yahweh, who said : "I am the 
Lord thy God, who brought thee out of Egypt." 32 
According to St. Jude, 33 " Jesus . . . hath reserved the 
angels [who kept not their principality, but forsook their 
own habitation] under darkness in everlasting chains, 
unto the judgment of the great day." And St. Peter 
assures us that " God 34 spared not the angels that 
sinned, but delivered them, drawn down by infernal 
ropes to the lower hell, unto torments, to be reserved 
unto judgment." By comparing these two passages we 
arrive at the equation : Jesus = God, and the context 
moreover shows that the term " God " must be taken in its 
strict sense. 35 

29 TOV 0eou fy/j.&v Kdl ffuTrjpos TTTOV ff&ffas. Epistle of St. Jude, 

l-rjaov X/HO-roO. 2 Pet. I, i. verse 5. 

so On the Christological teaching 32 Ex. XX, 2. 

of St. Peter cfr. Liddon, The Di- 33 Epistle of St. Jude, verse 6. 

vinity of Our Lord and Saviour 34 Qeos. 

Jesus Christ, pp. 435 sqq. 35 Cfr. Cardinal Bellarmine, De 

31 #TI l-rjffovs \a&v K 77Jjs Alyv- Christo, I, 4. 


In conclusion we will quote a passage from the Epis 
tle of St. James : " You have heard the patience of Job, 
and you have seen the end of the Lord, 36 that the 
Lord is merciful and compassionate." 37 " Misericors 
Dominus et miserator" is a standing phrase which the 
Bible applies exclusively to God, 38 and in this same sense, 
writing to the witnesses of the Ascension, St. James 
predicates it of Christ the " Lord." 

y) The use of the term "Logos" ( Verbum Dei) 
to designate the "Son of God" who became incar 
nate in Jesus Christ, is peculiar to St. John. 39 He 
ascribes to the Logos eternal pre-existence, 40 
aseity, creative power, and the authorship of su 
pernatural grace, truth, and divine sonship. 
Hence the fundamental teaching of the Johan- 
nean Gospel, that "the Logos [Word] was 
God," 41 can have but one meaning, viz.: that the 
Logos is God in the strict sense of the term, not 
merely figuratively or metaphorically. Now St. 
John Himself tells us that Jesus Christ is the 
Word made flesh, 42 and consequently Jesus Christ, 
being the Logos, must be true God. 

In the light of these Scriptural texts it is passing 
strange to hear Harnack declare : " The most impor- 

36 T& reXos ~Kvplov etSere. 40 This eternal pre-existence is 

37 Ep. of St. James V, u. real, not merely logical in the Di- 

38 Cfr. Pohle-Preuss, God: His vine Intellect or Knowledge, be- 
Knowability , Essence, and Attri- cause the Logos is " unigenitus in 
butes, pp. 464 sqq. sinu Patris only-begotten in the 

39 John I, i sqq.; i John I, i; bosom of the Father" (John I, 18). 
V, 7; Apoc. XIX, 13. Cfr. Pohle- 41 John I, i. 

Preuss, The Divine Trinity, pp. 88 42 John I, 14, 17. 



tant step that was ever taken in the domain of Christian 
doctrine was when the Christian apologists at the be 
ginning of the second century drew the equation: the 
Logos = Jesus Christ." 43 In matter of fact St. John 
" drew this equation " long before the apologists. He 
employed the term " Logos " in a higher sense than that 
of " a mere predicate," 44 by ascribing to Him a variety of 
indisputably divine attributes. 45 

b) Because of the importance of this dogma 
we proceed to develop the argument from Tradi 
tion. 46 

) The belief of the Primitive Church is 
clearly recorded in the writings of the Apostolic 

St. Clement of Rome, 47 who was a disciple and fellow- 
laborer of St. Paul, 48 and the third successor of St. 
Peter in the See of Rome, 49 invariably refers to Christ 
as " the Lord," 50 a title proper to God alone. 51 He 
furthermore expressly teaches that " The scepter of the 

43 Das Wesen des Christ entums, Enchiridion, n. 2027). On the 
p. 127 (English translation, p. 218). teaching of the Modernists see F. 

44 Harnack, /. c. Heiner, Der neue Syllabus Pius X., 

45 Cfr. Pohle-Preuss, The Divine pp. 114-159, Mainz 1907. 

Trinity, pp. 91 sqq. For a detailed 46 On certain difficulties con- 
refutation of Harnack s denial of nected with the Patristic argument 
the genuinity of the Fourth Gospel, cfr. Pohle-Preuss, The Divine Trin- 
see Al. Schafer, Einleitung in das ity, pp. 142 sqq. 
Neue Testament, pp. 255 sqq., Pa- 47 Died about the year 96. 
derborn 1898. We need hardly add 48 Phil. IV, 3. 

that the above argument abundantly 49 Cfr. St. Irenseus, Adv. Haer., 

refutes the contention of the Mod- III, 3, 3. 

ernists, that " the Divinity of 50 Dominus, 6 Kupios. 

Christ cannot be demonstrated from 51 Cfr. Pohle-Preuss, God: His 

the Gospels." (Cfr. Syllabus of Knowability, Essence and Attri- 

Pius X, apud Denzinger-Bannwart, butes, pp. 140 sqq. 


majesty of God, 52 the Lord Jesus Christ, did not come 
with arrogance of pride and overbearing, which He 
might have done, but with humility." While this text 
does not embody an explicit profession of faith in the 
Divinity of Christ, it involves such a profession, inas 
much as no mere creature, whether man or angel, could 
without blasphemy be called " the scepter of the majesty 
of God." Had St. Clement not believed in the Divinity 
of Christ, he could not reasonably have asserted that 
our Lord, had He so desired, instead of coming " with hu 
mility," might have come " cum iactantia superbiae," that 
is, with a just claim to divine honors. 

The so-called Second Letter of St. Clement, though 
now generally admitted to be the work of a writer living 
in the middle of the second century, 53 may yet, because 
of its antiquity and the high esteem in which it has 
always been held in the Church, 54 claim considerable 
dogmatic authority. It begins with the significant ex 
hortation : " Brethren, thus we must think of Jesus 
Christ as God, as the Judge of the quick and the 
dead." 55 

The so-called Epistle of St. Barnabas, though reck 
oned among the non-canonical writings by Eusebius, 56 is 
as old as, if not older than St. Clement s undoubtedly 
genuine First Letter to the Corinthians. 57 As a witness 

52 T& ffKiJTrrpov ri)S fj,eya\offvvt]s tioned by Eusebius (Hist. EccL, III, 
rov 0eoi/. i Cor. XVI, 2 (ed. 38, i) as purporting to be the Sec- 
Funk, I, 41, Tubingen 1887). ond Letter of St. Clement. 

53 This opinion is based on both 55 Patres Apostolici, Ed. Funk, I, 
internal and external evidence. The 81. 

complete Greek text of this "Sec- 56 Hist. EccL, VI, 13, 6. 

ond Letter," as first published in 57 According to the most ap- 

1875, makes it evident that it is not proved conjectures (Funk, Hilgen- 

a letter but a sermon, probably feld) this Letter was composed in 

preached at Corinth. Cfr. Barden- the reign of the Emperor Nerva 

hewer-Shahan, Patrology, p. 29. (A. D. 96-98). Cfr. Bardenhewer- 

54 The " Letter " is first men- Shahan, Patrology, pp. 22 sqq. 


to primitive Tradition its authority is unexceptionable. 
It teaches : " Jesus is not [only] the Son of man, but the 
Son of God, though as to form revealed in the flesh. 
But because they would say that He was the son of David, 
David himself, apprehending and foreseeing the error of 
impious men, prophesied : The Lord spoke to my Lord 
. . . Behold how David calls Him Lord and not 
son." 58 

The author of the work known as the Shepherd of 
Hernias was not, as he represents himself, a contem 
porary of St. Clement of Rome, but probably a brother of 
Pope Pius I (about 140-155). 59 Funk justly charges him 
with teaching a false Christology. 60 Nevertheless he may 
be cited as a witness to primitive Tradition. He says: 
" The Son is older than any creature, so much so that He 
ministered as counsellor to the Father at the creation of 
the creature." 61 And again : " The name of the Son of 
God is grand and immeasurable and supports the whole 
world." 92 Pre-existence, the power of creation and pres 
ervation are divine attributes, and He to whom they are 
ascribed (the " Son of God," or Christ), must be Divine. 
However, as the phraseology of the Shepherd occa 
sionally savors of Adoptionism, it will be well not to 
attach too much importance to his testimony. 63 

C8E/>. Barnabae, XII, 10, ed. 60 Hermas identifies the "Son of 

Funk, I, 41. On the testimony of God " with the Holy Ghost, and 

Polycarp and St. Ignatius of An- the Holy Ghost, as it would seem, 

tioch, cfr. Pohle-Preuss, The Di- with the Archangel Michael. Cfr. 

vine Trinity, p. 137, and Nirschl, Pohle-Preuss, The Divine Trinity, 

Die Theologie des hi. Ignatius, p. 151. 

Mainz 1880. 61 Pastor Hermae, 1. Ill, sim. 9, 

59 This theory, upon which com- c. 12, 2. 
petent critics are now almost unan- 62 Ibid., c. 14, 5. 
imously agreed, is based on a pas- 63 Cfr. Tixeront, History of Dog- 
sage of the Muratorian Fragment, mas (Engl. ed.), Vol. I, pp. 115 
which the reader will find quoted in sqq., St. Louis 1911. 
Bardenhewer-Shahan, Patrology, p. 


/?) The Christian apologists of the second cen 
tury are a unit in their Logos-teaching, though 
it should be borne in mind that their theory of 
the Aoyos o-Tre/o/mTuco s, as well as the distinction they 
make between Aoyos eVStatfeTo? and Ao yos irpo<t>opiK.6<s are 
not derived from Revelation but from the philo 
sophical systems of the Platonists and Stoics. 64 

A most important witness to primitive Christian be 
lief in the Divinity of Jesus is Aristides of Athens. 
His Apology, already mentioned by Eusebius, 65 was re 
garded as lost until the year 1878, when the Mechitarists 
of San Lazzaro published a fragment of an Armenian 
translation. In 1891, Rendel Harris made known a 
complete Syriac translation, and a Greek recension of 
the text was simultaneously edited by Armitage Rob 
inson. 66 The original of this Apology was probably 
offered to the Emperor Antoninus Pius (138-161). 
" The Christians," says Aristides, 67 " date the beginning 
of their religion from Jesus Christ. He, Himself, is 

64 " The view of the Logos as safe would appear from its history 

cvSidOeros and as 7rpo0opt/c6s, as in the Church, into which the above 

the Word conceived and the Word theologians [Tatian, Tertullian, 

uttered, the Word mental and the Novatian, etc.], by their mode of 

Word active and effectual to dis- teaching the yewrjcris of the Word, 

tinguish the two senses of Logos, introduce us." (Newman, Select 

thought and speech came from Treatises of St. Athanasius, Vol. 

the Stoics, and is found in Philo, II, p. 340, 9th impression, London 

and was, under certain limitations, 1903.) On the history of these 

allowed in Catholic theology. terms see the same eminent au- 

(Damasc., F. O., II, 21). To use, thor s Tracts Theological and EC- 

indeed, either of the two absolutely clesiastical, pp. 209 sqq., new ed., 

and to the exclusion of the other, London 1895. 

would have involved some form of 65 Chron. ad a. Abrah. 2140; cfr. 
Sabellianism, or Arianism, as the Hist. Reel., IV, 3, 3. 
case might be; but each term might 66 Cfr. Bardenhewer-Shahan, Pa- 
correct the defective sense of the trology, p. 46. 
other. That the use was not over- 67 ApoL, II, 6. 


called the Son of God the Most High, and they teach 
of Him that God descended from heaven and assumed 
flesh from a Hebrew virgin. Therefore the Son of God 
hath dwelled in a daughter of man." 

To the same Emperor Antoninus Pius, and to his 
adopted sons, Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus, is ad 
dressed the " First " Apology of St. Justin Martyr, com 
posed about A. D. I50. 68 Justin attempts to demonstrate 
from the Old Testament 69 that "Jesus Christ is the 
Son of God," and thereupon continues: "Who, being 
the first-born word of God, is also God." 70 On the 
authority of Sacred Scripture he rejects the contention 
of the Ebionites that Christ is a "mere man," 71 and 
declares that He is " alone " called " Son of God " in 
"the proper sense." 72 St. Justin concludes his argu 
ment against the Jew Trypho with the remark : " That 
Christ the Lord, therefore, is both God and the Son of 
God, 73 ... has been repeatedly proved." He accord 
ingly does not hesitate to assign to Jesus Christ, as 
Second Person of the Divine Trinity, a place in the 
baptismal form, saying that all Christians are baptized 
" in the name of the Parent of all things, the Lord God, 
and of our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of the Holy 
Ghost." 74 

68 On St. Justin s teaching con- 73 Dial. c. Tryph., 128 (Migne, 

cerning the Logos cf r. Pohle-Preuss, /. c., 774) : /cat Qebs Oeov vli>s 

The Divine Trinity, p. 144. virapx^f. 

w Apol., I, n. 63 (Migne, P. G., 74 Apol., I, n. 61 (Migne, /. c., 

VI, 423 sq.) 419) : "In nomine Parentis uni- 

70 Ibid. (Migne, P. G., VI, 426) : versorum ac Domini Dei, ac Salva- 
os Kal A6yos irpwroTOfcos 2>v rov torts nostri lesu Christi, et Spiritus 
Qeov Kal 9eos iireipx". Sancti." On the Christological 

71 Dial. c. Tryph., 48 (Migne, /. teaching of St. Justin consult A. L. 
c., 579). Feder, S.J., Justins des Martyr ers 

72 Apol., II, n. 6 (Migne, /. c., Lehre von Jesus Christus, Freiburg 
453) * 6 novas \ey6/j,evos Kvpiws 1906. 

vios, b A.6yos irpo ruv 


One of the most beautiful professions of faith in the 
Divinity of Christ that has come down to us from the 
early days is contained in the Letter to Diognetus, which 
on internal evidence is commonly ascribed to the era of 
the persecutions. 75 The author of this Letter 76 devotes 
an entire chapter (the seventh) to Christ as " the Logos 
sent upon this earth by the invisible Creator," and who is 
" no angel," but the " Creator of the Universe " Him 
self. 77 

7) An important doctrinal role in the tradition 
of our dogma must be assigned to St. Irenseus 
of Lyons (born about 140). He was a disciple 
of St. Polycarp of Smyrna (d. 155), who had re 
ceived the faith from St. John, the Apostle. 

St. Irenseus emphasizes the fact that Christ is truly 
the Son of God, and consequently true God. " No one 
else, therefore," he writes, ..." is called God or Lord, 
except He who is the God and Lord of all [i. e., the 
Father] ... and His Son Jesus Christ, our Lord." 78 

75 Cfr. Bardenhewer-Shahan, Pa- eorum infixit ; non quemadmodum 
trology, p. 68. aliquis coniicere possit, hominibus 

76 The authorship of the Letter ministrum aliquem mittens out on 
to Diognetus has been variously at- gelum out principcm, . . . sed ip- 
tributed: by Bunsen to Marcion, by sum opificem et creator em omnium 
Draseke to Apelles, by Doulcet, ( T bv rexvirijv icai drj^iovpybv TWV 
Kihn, and Kriiger to Aristides of 5\o;^) ) per quern coelos condidit. 
Athens. Bardenhewer says that . . . In dementia et lenitate ut rex 
" the latter hypothesis alone merits mittens Filium regem misit eum, ut 
attention." (Bardenhewer-Shahan, Deum misit, ut hominem ad homines 
/. c.) misit." 

77 Ep. ad Diognet., VII, 2, 4 (ed. 78 " Nemo igitur alius. . . . Deus 
Funk, I, 321): " Ipse vere om- nominatur out Dominus appellatur 
nium regenerator et omnium condi- nisi qui est omnium Deus et Domi- 
tor et invisibilis Deus (= Pater) nus [i. e., Pater} . . . et huius 
ipse e coelis veritatem et Verbum Filius lesus Christus Dominus no- 
sanctum et incomprehensibile (TOV ster." Contr. Haer., Ill, 6, 2 
Aoyov TOV ayiov Kal direpivor/Tov) (Migne, P. G., VII, 861). 

inter homines locavit et cordibus 


" He [i. e., Christ] alone of all men who lived up to that 
time is properly called God, and Lord, and Eternal King, 
and Only-Begotten, and Word Incarnate, by all the proph 
ets and Apostles, and by the [Holy] Spirit Himself, as 
any one can see who has attained to even a modicum of 
truth. The Scriptures would not give such testimony 
of Him if He were a mere man like the rest of us." 70 
In virtue of this belief St. Irenaeus unhesitatingly iden 
tifies Christ with the Second Person of the Divine 
Trinity : " The Church received from the Apostles and 
their disciples that faith which is in one God, the Father 
Almighty . . . and in one Jesus Christ, the Son of God, 
who was made Flesh for our salvation, and in the 
Holy Ghost." 80 

As for Origen (185-255), he is quite orthodox in 
his Christological teaching when he speaks as a simple 
witness to ecclesiastical Tradition. It is only when he en 
gages in philosophical speculation that he seems to deviate 
from the truth. In his first-mentioned capacity he says 
in the preface to his famous work He/at Apx^ : " Jesus 
Christ, who has come, was begotten from the Father be 
fore all creatures. And having ministered to the Father 
at the creation of all things for through Him all 

79 Contr. Haer., Ill, 19, 2 stolis et a discipulis eorum accepit 
(Migne, P. G., VII, 910): "Quo- earn fidem, quae est in unum Deum 
niam autem ipse \i. e., Christus] Patrem omnipotentem . . . et in 
proprie praeter omnes, qui fuerunt unum lesum Christum Filium Dei 
tune homines, Deus et Dominus et incarnatum pro nostra salute (/cai 
Rex aeternus et Unigenitus et Ver- els <va Xpurrbv lyeovv, TOV vibv 
bum incarnatum praedicatur et a TOV Beov, TOV (rapKiaOevra virep 
Prophetis omnibus et Apostolis et rrjs ^/aerepas trwTTjpi as) et in Spi- 
ab ipso Spiritu, adest -uidere om- ritum Sanctum." A cognate text 
nibus, qui vel modicum de -veritate from the writings of Clement of 
attigerint; haec autem non testifi- Alexandria is cited in Pohle-Preuss, 
carentur Scripturae de eo, si simili- The Divine Trinity, p. 141. On 
ter ut omnes homo tantum fuisset." traces of Subordinationism in Ire- 

80 Ibid., I, 10, 1-2 (Migne, /. c., naeus cfr. Tixeront, History of 
549, SSo) : " Ecclesia et ab Apo- Dogmas, p. 234. 


things were made He emptied Himself in recent days, 
became man and assumed flesh, notwithstanding He was 
God, and having become man, He nevertheless remained 
what He was, namely God." 81 Of the author of the 
Johannine Gospel Origen observes : " None of the Evan 
gelists has proclaimed the Divinity of Christ so clearly as 
John." 82 

8) Among the ecclesiastical writers of the 
West, Tertullian taught and defended the Di 
vinity of Christ and the dogma of the Trinity. 
In his Apologeticum (or Apologeticus)** he says: 
"Verum neque de Christ o enibescimus, quum sub 
nomine eius deputari et damnari iuvat, neque 
de Deo aliter praesumimus. Necesse est igitur 
paiica dicamus de Christo ut Deo. . . . Hunc ex 
Deo prolatum didicimus et prolatione generatum 
et idcirco F ilium Dei et Deum dictum ex unitate 
substantiae; nam et Deus spiritus. . . . Quod de 
Deo profectum est, Deus est et Dei Filius et unus 
ambo." 84 

81 Orig., De Princ., Praef., 5. serves that Tertullian " in his de- 

82 Tract, in loa., 6 (Migne, P. G., fense of the personal distinction be- 
XIV, 29). On the controversy be- tween the Father and the Son . . . 
tween Dionysius the Great of Alex- does not, apparently, avoid a cer- 
andria (d. 265) and Pope Diony- tain Subordinationism, although in 
sius, cfr. Pohle-Preuss, The Divine many very clear expressions and 
Trinity, pp. 121 sqq., 142. On Ori- turns of thought he almost ap- 
gen s Christological teaching cfr. proaches the decision of the Nicene 
Liddon, The Divinity of Christ, pp. Council." (Otto Bardenhewer, Pa- 
573 sqq.; Tixeront, History of Dog- trologie, 2nd ed., p. 162, Freiburg 
mas, I, 264 sqq. 1901. Shahan s translation, p. 185. 

83 The most ancient text-wit- We have slightly altered Dr. Sha- 
nesses do not agree with regard to ban s wording, in order to bring out 
the precise title of this famous book. our point more effectively). The 

84 Apologet., 21. Bardenhewer ob- difficulty is one of terminology 



The writings of St. Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage (about 
AD. 200-258), who was a countryman of Tertullian, 
abound in passages affirming the Divinity of Christ and 
the dogma of the Trinity. "If he has obtained for 
giveness of his sins . . .," Cyprian says in one place, 
" he has been made a temple of God. I ask : Of which 
God? Not of the Creator, because he does not believe 
in Him. Not of Christ, because he denies that Christ 
is God. Not of the Holy Ghost, because, if the Three 
are One, how can the Holy Ghost be pacified in regard 
to him who is an enemy of either the Father or the 
Son?" 85 

The Patristic texts which we have quoted show how 
utterly groundless is the Modernist assertion, solemnly 
condemned in the " Syllabus of Pius X," that " the 
Christ of history [i. e., Jesus as depicted in the four Gos 
pels] is far inferior to the Christ who is the object of 
faith." 8 

cally, the Divinity of Christ can be demonstrated 
in a twofold manner : ( i ) against the Jews, by 
showing that the Messianic prophecies were ful 
filled in Christ; (2) against unbelievers, from 
internal and external criteria furnished by His 
life and teaching and by the testimony of His 

rather than real. Cfr. Pohle-Preuss, labus, pp. 121 sqq., Mainz 1907. 

The Divine Trinity, pp. 141 sqq.; On the Nicene decision see Pohle- 

also, Tixeront, History of Dogmas, Preuss, The Divine Trinity, pp. 125 

Vol. I, p. 312 sqq. On the testimony of the mar- 

85 Ep. ad lubaian., 23, 12. tyrs to the Divinity of Christ, ibid., 

86 " Concedere licet Christum, pp. 137 sqq. On the teaching of the 
quern exhibet historia, multo inferi- Nicene and post-Nicene Fathers, 
or em esse Christ o, qui est obiectum ibid., pp. 153 sqq. 

fidei." Cfr. Heiner, Der neue Syl- 


Apostles. It belongs to Fundamental Theology 
to develop this argument fully; in the present, 
purely dogmatic treatise we shall merely sketch its 

a) Against the Jews we must prove that 
Jesus Christ is the " Messias" 87 promised in the 
Old Testament. If He is the Messias, He is true 
God, for as such the prophets predicted that He 
would appear. 88 If He were not the Messias, 
the Jewish religion would be based on fraud, be 
cause the idea of the Messias forms its very foun 
dation-stone. 89 

All the Messianic prophecies were fulfilled in that his 
toric personage known as Jesus of Nazareth, who proved 
Himself by word and deed to be the true Messias. 90 

The well-known prediction of Jacob (Gen. XLIX, 10 
sqq.) : "The sceptre shall not be taken away 91 from 
Juda, nor a ruler from his thigh, till he come that is to 
be sent, etc.," either has not yet been fulfilled, and 
must forever remain unfulfilled, or it is fulfilled in Jesus 
Christ. 92 The same holds good of the famous prophecy 

87 rp{>, i. e. unctus, 6 Xptffros. Vol. II, pp. 192 sqq., Minister 1895; 
- T H. P. Liddon, The Divinity of Our 

88 Cfr. Pohle-Preuss, The Divine Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, pp. 
Trinity, pp. 15 sq. I09 sqqt> London, Oxford, and Cam- 

89 Cfr. F. Hettinger, Fundamen- bridge 1867; Maas, Christ in Type 
taltheologie, 2nd ed., pp. 321 sqq., and p ro p hecy> V ol. I, pp. 56 sqq., 
Freiburg 1888; Hettinger-Bowden, New Yo rk 1893; H. J. Coleridge, 
Revealed Religion, pp. 149 sqq., 2nd S> j^ The p re p arai i on o f the I n - 
ed.; A. J. Maas, S. J., Christ in carnation, pp. 59 sqq., 2nd ed., Lon- 
Type and Prophecy, 2 vols., New don l894> 

York l8 93- 01 On this rendering of the He- 

90 On the Messianic expectations brew text> as well as on the whole 

of the Jews and Gentiles at the passa g e) see Maas, Christ in Type 

time of Christ cfr. Hettinger, Fun- and Pro p hecy> Vo l. I, pp. 288 sqq. 

damentaltheologie, pp. 339 sqq.; C. 92 O n certain strange Jewish at- 
Gutberlet, Lehrbuch der Apologetik, 


of Daniel (Dan. IX, 24-27: "Seventy weeks are 
shortened upon thy people, etc."). No matter how we 
may interpret it in detail, as a whole it was either realized 
in Christ or must remain forever unfulfilled. 93 Now 
there can be no reasonable doubt that the Danielic pre 
diction has found its consummation in Christ, for since 
His time the Jewish sacrifices have ceased and the city 
of Jerusalem with its Temple has been destroyed. Sim 
ilar arguments can be constructed from the prophecies 
of the " virgin birth" (Is. VII, 14), the passion (Ps. 
XXI; Is. LIII, i sqq.), the "clean oblation" (Mai. I, 
II sqq.), and so forth. 94 

Furthermore, all Old Testament types, both personal 
and real, have been fulfilled in Christ and His Church. 95 
Hence, for an orthodox Jew to deny the Messiahship and 
consequently the Divinity of Christ, means to reject the 
Jewish religion as an empty superstition. 

b) Against unbelievers the Divinity of Jesus 
Christ can be demonstrated : ( i ) from internal 
criteria such as the divine character of His teach 
ing and the superhuman majesty of His Person; 
and (2) from external evidence, especially His 

tempts at evading this dilemma cfr. Childhood of Jesus Christ Accord- 

Billuart, De Incarn., diss. 2, art. 2, ing to the Canonical Gospels, Phil- 

i. adelphia 1910, and G. Oussani, " The 

93 Cfr. Fraidl, Die Exegese der Virgin Birth of Christ and Modern 
70 Wochen Daniels in der alteren Criticism " in the New York Re- 
und mittleren Zeit, Graz 1883; view, Vol. Ill (1907), No. 2-3 
Diisterwald, Die Weltreiche und das (1908), No. 4-5. 

Gottesreich nach den Weissagungen 95 Cfr. J. Selbst, Die Kirche Jesu 

des Propheten Daniel, Freiburg Christi nach den Weissagungen der 

1890; Maas, Christ in Type and Propheten, Mainz 1883; A. Schop- 

Prophecy, Vol. I, pp. 299 sqq. fer, Geschichte des Alien Testa- 

94 These arguments are well de- mentes, 4th ed., pp. 370 sqq., Brixen 
veloped by G. B. Tepe, S. J., Instit. 1906; A J. Maas, S. J., Christ in 
Theol., Vol. 1, pp. 132 sqq., Paris Type and Prophecy, New York 
1894. O n the dogma of the virgin 1893. 

birth consult Durand-Bruneau, The 


prophecies and the miracles wrought by Him in 
confirmation of His mission and teaching. 

This argument derives additional force from the ad 
mission of modern Rationalists, that " the historical crit 
icism of two generations has resulted in restoring the 
credibility of the first three Gospels " (which had been 
impugned by David Friedrich Strauss), 90 and that St. 
Paul " understood the Master and continued His 
work." 97 

) The Rationalists are forced to admit that 
Christ s religious and moral teaching was as sub 
lime as it was simple, and that not the slightest 
moral taint attaches to His Person. 

" That Jesus message is so great and so powerful," 
says, e. g., Harnack, 98 " lies in the fact that it is so 
simple and on the other hand so rich; so simple as to 
be exhausted in each of the leading thoughts which he 
uttered; so rich that every one of these thoughts seems 
to be inexhaustible and the full meaning of the sayings 
and parables beyond our reach. But more than that 
he himself stands behind everything that he has said. 
His words speak to us across the centuries with the 
freshness of the present. It is here that that profound 
saying is truly verified : Speak, that I may see thee. " 
Sublime indeed, born of superhuman wisdom and celes 
tial holiness is the teaching of Jesus Christ, 99 and con 
sequently, He Himself must be more than a mere man. 100 

96 A. Harnack, Das Wesen d cs 99 Consider, for instance, the 
Christ entums, p. 14. (English edi- Lord s Prayer and the Sermon on 
tion, p. 22). the Mount. 

97 Ibid., p. no. (English ed., p. 100 The student will find this 
189.) thought forcefully developed by P. 

98 Ibid., p. 33. (English transla- Hake in his Handbuch dcr allge- 
tion, pp. 55 sq.) 


By the compelling majesty of His Person Jesus 
looms as the ideal " Superman." His very features, His 
words and actions, are so human and yet at the same time 
so exalted, that we instinctively feel He is a supe 
rior being. We are justified in asking Professor Har- 
nack whether his own description of Christ would fit a 
mere man : " The sphere in which he lived, above the 
earth and its concerns, did not destroy his interest in it; 
no, he brought everything in it into relation with the 
God whom he knew, and he saw it as protected in him : 
Your Father in heaven feeds them. The parable is 
his most familiar form of speech. Insensibly, how 
ever, parable and sympathy pass into each other. Yet 
he who had not where to lay his head does not speak 
like one who has broken with everything, or like an he 
roic penitent, or like an ecstatic prophet, but like a man 
who has rest and peace for his soul and who is able to 
give life and strength to others. He strikes the might 
iest notes; he offers men an inexorable alternative; he 
leaves them no escape; and yet the strongest emotion 
seems to come naturally to him, and he expresses it as 
something natural ; he clothes it in the language in which 
a mother speaks to her child." 101 

There is another characteristic which, even more than 
those we have already mentioned, stamps the Person 
of Jesus Christ with the seal of Divinity, His abso 
lute exemption from error and sin. No mere man is 
immune from sin and error. If any man really en 
joyed these prerogatives, he could not proclaim the 
fact to his fellow men without making himself the butt 
of ridicule. Jesus, the Godman, speaking as one hav- 

vneinen Religionswissenschaft, Vol. pp. 23 sq. (English translation, pp. 
II, pp. 131 sqq., Freiburg 1887. 39-40.) 

101 Das Wesen des Christ entums, 


ing power," 102 fears not error, nor doubt, nor contra 
diction. He bases His instructions on a categorical : " I 
tell you," and meets the objections of His opponents 
in the majestic posture of a true sovereign. Still more 
marvellous is His freedom from sin. Neither His 
friends 103 nor His enemies, 104 including Judas the 
traitor, were able " to find a cause " in Him. Nay, 
more He Himself was in a position to say without the 
slightest conceit : " I am meek and humble of heart," 105 
and to ask : " Which of you shall convince me of 
sin ? " 106 the same Jesus who taught His Apostles to 
pray : " Father . . . forgive us our debts, as we also 
forgive our debtors." 107 

Christ thus stands before us both in the intellectual 
and the moral order as a wondrous apparition, a super 
human, heavenly Being of divine origin. Closely bound 
up with His character and teaching is His own asser 
tion of His Divine Sonship and Divinity. It puts all 
men face to face with the terrible dilemma : " Either 
Jesus Christ is true God, or the Christian religion is a 
blasphemous deception, and its Founder a knave or a fool. 
This alternative ought to convince all who are able and 
willing to use their reason, that Christ is true God and 
that the Christian religion is a divine institution." 108 In 
vain does Harnack declare it unevangelical to " put a 
Christological creed in the forefront of the Gospel " and 
to " teach that before a man can approach [the Gospel] 
he must learn to think rightly about Christ." 109 Christ 

102 Matth. VII, 29. 108 J. Kleutgen, Theologie der 

103 Cfr. Acts III, 14; XIII, 35; Vorzeit, Vol. Ill, p. 17, 2nd ed., 
Heb. IV, 15; i Pet. I, 19; i John Miinster 1870. Cfr. M. Lepin, Christ 
III, 7; II, i. and the Gospel, English tr., pp. 128 

104 Cfr. Luke XXIII, 4. sqq., Philadelphia 1910. 

105 Matth. XI, 29. 109 Das Wesen des Christentums, 
108 John VIII, 46. p. 93- (English translation, p. 158.) 
107 Matth. VI, 12. 


Himself imposed " a Christological profession of faith on 
His Apostles," 110 and confronted the Jews with the cate 
gorical question : " What think you of Christ ? whose 
son is he?" 111 In proof of His own conviction and 
of His assertion that He is the Messiah and the true 
Son of God, He suffered ignominious death. 112 Upon a 
right conception of the Person of Christ, therefore, de 
pends the truth or falsity of the Christian religion. It is 
a question of eternal life or death. 113 

) External proofs for the Divinity of Christ s 
Person and mission are the prophecies He ut 
tered and the miracles He performed. 

His prophecies concern partly His own future, 114 
partly the fate of His Church, 115 partly the destruction 
of Jerusalem and its Temple, 116 and the dispersion of 
the Jews. 117 The fact that these predictions were ful 
filled to the letter, furnishes a sufficient guaranty that 
those which still remain unfulfilled (e. g., the resurrec 
tion of the dead and the last judgment), will also come 

no Matth. XVI, 16 sqq. secutions, the conversion of the 

111 Matth. XXII, 42. Gentiles, the indestructibility of His 

112 Matth. XXVI, 23 sqq.; Luke Church. 

XXII, 66 sqq.; John XIX, 7. lie Cfr. Matth. XXIV, 5; Luke 

113 Cfr. K. Hennemann, Die XIX, 43 sqq. 

Heiligkcit Jcsu als Beweis seiner H7 Cfr. Luke XXI, 24. On the 

Gottheit, Wiirzburg 1898; A. Seitz, literal fulfillment of these proph- 

Das Evangelium vom Gottessohn, ecies cfr. P. Hake, Handbuch der 

Freiburg 1908, pp. 171 sqq., 343 allgemeinen Religionswissenschaft, 

sqq.; H. P. Liddon, The Divinity Vol. II, pp. 193 sqq.; G. B. Tepe, 

of Christ, pp. 243 sqq.; F. Sawicki, Instit. Theol., Vol. I, pp. 193 sqq. 

Die Wahrheit des Christ entums, pp. On the destruction of Jerusalem in 

355 sqq., Paderborn 1911. particular, see Josephus, Bell. lud., 

114 As, e. g., His betrayal at the II, 13; VI, 3 sqq.; VII, i; Tacitus, 
hands of Judas, the denial of Peter, Hist., I, 2; Ammian. Marcellin., Rer. 
the Passion and the Resurrection. Gest., XXIII, i sqq. (Kirch, En- 

115 For instance, the sending of chiridion Fontium Historiae EC- 
the Holy Ghost, the heathen per- clesiasticae, n. 606, Friburgi 1910). 


true. Meanwhile the Catholic Church resides among us 
as a living tangible proof of Christ s prophetic power. 
Her existence, teaching, character, and indefectibility 
supply the earnest inquirer with a sufficiently strong ar 
gument for the Godhead of her Founder. 118 

The historicity of the Gospel miracles cannot be 
brushed aside on Harnack s frivolous pretext that " what 
happens in space and time is subject to the general laws 
of motion, and that in this sense, as an interruption of 
the order of Nature, there can be no such thing as 
miracles/ " If the Gospels are authentic and gen 
uine documents, and Harnack admits that at least 
three of them are, the wonderful events which they 
record must be accepted as historic facts, because they 
are inseparably bound up with the narrative as a whole. 
The moral character of Jesus stands or falls with His 
miracles, to which He so frequently appeals in proof 
of His doctrine and mission. 119 In matter of fact tHese 
miracles were wrought before the eyes of the whole 
Jewish nation, their genuineness is attested alike by 
friend and foe, and at least one of them was established 
by a searching legal investigation. 120 Harnack arbi 
trarily disrupts the texture of the Gospel miracles when 
he says : " That the earth in its course stood still, that 
a she-ass spoke, that a storm was quieted by a word, 
we do not believe and we shall never again believe; but 
that the lame walked, the blind saw, and the deaf 
heard, will not be so summarily dismissed as an illu- 

118 This argument is well devel- 4, 5; XII, 25 sqq.; Luke V, 23 
oped by O. R. Vassall-Phillips, C. sqq.; John V, 21, 36; VI, 30; X, 37 
SS. R., The Mustard Tree: An Ar- sq.; XI, 42; XIV, 10 sq., etc., etc. 
gument on Behalf of the Divinity of On the historic character of the 
Christ, London 1912. Gospels see P. Batiffol, The Credi- 

119 Harnack, Das Wesen des bility of the Gospel, tr. by G. C. H. 
Christentums, p. 17 (English trans- Pollen, S. J., London 1912. 
lation, pp. 28 sq.) Cfr. Matth. XI, 120 Cfr. John IX, i sqq. 


sion." 121 The miracles of the Gospel cannot be divided off 
into credible cures and incredible interruptions of the 
order of Nature without destroying the harmonious 
unity of the sacred narrative. Furthermore, such 
unwarranted discrimination would cast a slur on the 
moral character of Jesus, who in His sermons con 
stantly appeals to both classes of miracles. If some of 
them were unreal, Christ would be a contemptible im 
postor. 122 

And now to the final question: What attitude does 
modern Rationalism take with regard to the Resurrection, 
that pivotal miracle which constitutes the climax of 
our Lord s earthly career and the foundation stone of 
Christian belief? 123 Will Harnack here too make the 
reservation : " We are not yet by any means acquainted 
with all the forces working in it [i. e., the order of 
Nature] and acting reciprocally with other forces " ? 124 
It is here that the unbeliever meets with his final Water 
loo. The hypothesis that the death of Christ was 
merely apparent, and that His disciples were impostors, 
has now been universally abandoned. The so-called 
vision theory is flatly contradicted by the facts. 125 There 
fore our Lord s triumphant Resurrection forms the 
pillar and groundwork of the Christian dispensation and 
the test and touchstone of true belief. 126 

121 Das Wesen des Christentums, surely neither a visionary nor a 
p. 1 8 (English translation, pp. 30 day-dreamer. 

sq.). 126 The student will find this sub- 

122 Cfr. Luke VII, 13 sqq. ; ject more fully developed in Tepe, 
Matth. VII, 18 sqq.; John XI, 43. Instit. Theol., Vol. I, pp. 97 sqq. 

123 " If Christ be not risen again, He may also consult with profit: 
then is our preaching vain, and P. Hake, Handbuch der allgemeinen 
your faith is also vain." (i Cor. Religionswissenschaft, Vol. II, pp. 
XV, 14.) 171 sqq.; F. Hettinger, Fundamcn- 

124 Das Wesen des Christentums, taltheologie, 2nd ed., pp. 368 sqq., 
p. 1 8 (English translation, p. 30). Freiburg 1888; Fl. Chable, Die 

125 The doubting Thomas was Wunder Jesu in ihrem inneren 


READINGS : * St. Thomas Aquinas, Contr. Gent., IV, 2 sqq. 
(Rickaby, Of God and His Creatures, pp. 340 sqq., London 1905). 
Suarez, De Incarnatione, disp. 2. * Prudentius Maranus, De 
Divinitate Domini Nostri lesu Christi, ed. Wirceb., 1859. P. 
Hake, Handbuch der allgemeinen Religionswissenschaft, Vol. 
II, 30 sqq., Freiburg 1887. * C. Gutberlet, Apologetik, 2nd ed., 
Vol. II, 2, 5-10, Minister 1895.* Fr. Hettinger, Apologie des 
Christentums, I, I, Vortr. 14-18, 9th ed., Freiburg 1906. (English 
tr. by H. S. Bowden, Revealed Religion, pp. 130 sqq., 2nd ed., Lon 
don s. a.) J. Bade, Christotheologie oder Jesus Christus, der 
Sohn Gottes und wahre Gott, 2nd ed., Paderborn 1870. L. Reinke, 
Die messianischen Psalmen, 2 vols., Giessen 1857-58. IDEM, Die 
messianischen Weissagungen bei den Propheten, 4 vols., Giessen 
1859-62. M. Lendovsek, Divina Maiestas Verbi Incarnati 
Elucidata ex Libris Novi Testamenti, Graz 1896. Endler, 
Apologetische Vortr dge uber die Gottheit lesu, Prague 1900. 
W. Capitaine, Jesus von Nazareth, eine Priifung seiner Gott 
heit, Ratisbon 1904. H. Schell, Jahwe und Christus, Pader 
born 1905. G. W. B. Marsh, Messianic Philosophy, an Historical 
and Critical Examination of the Evidence for the Existence, 
Death, Resurrection, Ascension, and Divinity of Jesus Christ, 
London 1908. IDEM, Miracles, London 1906. IDEM, The Resur 
rection of Christ, Is it a Fact? London 1905. Devivier-Sasia, 
Christian Apologetics, Vol. I, pp. 33 sqq., San Jose, Cal., 1903. 
Bougaud-Currie, The Divinity of Christ, New York 1906. J. H. 
Newman, An Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Assent, New 
York ed., 1870, pp. 420 sqq. Freddi-Sullivan, S. J., Jesus Christ 
the Word Incarnate, pp. 12 sqq., St. Louis 1904. V. Rose, O. P., 
Studies on the Gospels, English tr. by R. Fraser, London 1903. 
* H. Felder, O. M. Cap., Jesus Christus, Apologie seiner Messia- 
nit dt und Gottheit gegenilber der neuesten ungldubigen Jesus-For- 
schung, Vol. I, Paderborn 1911, Vol. II, 1914. M. Lepin, Christ 
and the Gospel, Philadelphia 1910. O. R. Vassall- Phillips, C. 
SS. R., The Mustard Tree: An Argument on Behalf of the Di- 

Zusammenhang , Freiburg 1897; H. Christ, pp. 232 sqq., London, Ox- 

Schell, Jahwe und Christus, pp. 278 ford, and Cambridge 1867; J. B. 

sqq., Paderborn 1905; L. Fonck, Disteldorf, Die Auferstehung 

S. J., Die Wunder des Herrn im Christi, Trier 1906; G. W. B. 

Evangelium, 2nd ed., Innsbruck Marsh, The Resurrection of Christ, 

1907; H. P. Liddon, The Divinity London 1905; E. Mangenot, La 

of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Resurrection de Jesus, Paris 1910. 


vinity of Christ, London 1912. F. X. Kiefl, Der geschichtliche 
Christus und die moderne Philosophic, Mainz 1911. P. Batiffol, 
The Credibility of the Gospels (tr. by G. C. H. Pollen, S. J.), 
London 1912. H. Schumacher, Die Selbstoffenbarung Jesu bet 
Mat. n, 2? (Luc. 10, 22}, Freiburg 1912. Jesus Christus, Vor- 
tr dge von Bmig, Hoberg, Krieg, Weber, Esser, 2nd ed., Freiburg 

Additional literature in Pohle-Preuss, The Divine Trinity, pp. 
95 SC KL > St. Louis 1912. 



In this Chapter we shall first demonstrate ( Sect, 
i) the reality of the human nature of Christ as 
defined by the Church against the Docetae (Art. 
i), and its integrity as defined against Arianism 
and Apollinarianism (Art. 2). Then we shall 
proceed to show the Adamic origin of Christ, qua 
man, from the Virgin Mary, as defined against 
Valentinus and Apelles (Sect. 2), and, finally, the 
passibility of His human nature, i. e., its capacity 
for suffering, with special reference to the atone 
ment. (Sect. 3). 

GENERAL READINGS:*!. Grimm, Das Leben Jesu, 2nd ed., 
7 vols., Ratisbon 1890 sqq. P. Didon, Jesus Christ, 2 vols., 
London 1908. J. Duggan, The Life of Christ, London 1897. 
M. Meschler, S. J., The Life of Our Lord Jesus Christ the 
Son of God, 2 vols., Freiburg and St. Louis 1909.* J- Kleutgen, 
S. J., Theologie der Vorzeit, Vol. Ill, pp. 7 sqq., Miinster 1870. 
Alb. a Bulsano, Instit. Theol. Dogmat. (ed. a Graun), t. I, 
pp. 570 sqq., Oeniponte 1893. * St. Thomas Aquinas, S. Theol., 
3a, qu. 5-6 (summarized in English in Freddi-Sullivan, Jesus 
Christ the Word Incarnate, St. Louis 1904). * Suarez, De In- 
carnatione, disp. 2, sect, i; disp. 15, sect, i sqq. Thomassin, 
De Incarn., IV, i-u. L. Janssens, O. S. B., De Deo-homine, Vol. 
I, pp. 240 sqq., Friburgi 1901. Durand-Bruneau, The Childhood 
of Jesus Christ According to the Canonical Gospels, Philadelphia 
1910. H. J. Coleridge, S. J., The Preparation of the Incarnation, 



2nd ed., London 1894. IDEM, The Nine Months, London 1895. 

IDEM, The Thirty Years, new ed., London 1893. Riviere- 
Cappadelta, The Doctrine of the Atonement, 2 vols., London 1909. 

Fr. Schmid, Quaestiones Selectae ex Theologia Dogmatica, qu. 
6, Paderborn 1891. 






course of the first four centuries of the Christian 
era sundry heretics asserted that our Blessed Re 
deemer was not a real man, but merely bore the 
semblance of a man, and that His body was a 
mere phantasm (SoV^a, ^avrao-^a). Against this 
heresy the Church vigorously upheld the true and 
genuine character of Christ s humanity. 

a) The Docetse x were recruited partly from the 
Gnostics of the second century, 2 and partly from the 

from doKTjffis, " ap- than the wildest vagaries of old." 

pearance " or " semblance," because The name Docetae did not desig- 

they taught that Christ only " ap- nate a sect properly so called. It 

peared " or " seemed " to be a man, applied to all the sects which taught 

to be born, to live, and to suffer. the non-reality of the material body 

The word Docetae is best rendered of Christ. Of this number were 

in English by " Illusionists." (Cfr. the Valentinians, the Basilidians, the 

J. P. Arendzen, art. " Docetae," in Ophites, the Marcionites, and other 

the Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. V). Gnostics. Cfr. Milman s notes on 

Arendzen does not fail to point out Gibbon s Decline and Fall of the 

the noteworthy fact that this early Roman Empire, Vol. I, Ch. XXI. 

heresy is being renewed in modern 2 Saturnilus, Basilides, Marcion, 

Theosophic and Spiritistic circles in et al. 
$ form " scarcely less phantastic 



Manichseans and Priscillianists of the third and fourth. 
These heretics were at one in contending that matter 
(hyle) is the seat of evil and that God would have sub 
jected Himself to contamination by assuming a material 
body. 3 

b) In the early days of Christianity the Church simply 
bound her children to her official form of Baptism (now 
called the Apostles Creed), which in its articles on the 
conception, birth, and crucifixion of Christ plainly de 
bars the illusionist theory. 

We have no authentic record of any formal definition 
of the faith against the Priscillianists. The anti-Pris- 
cillianist profession of faith erroneously attributed to a 
Council of Toledo (A. D. 447) is in reality the work 
of an anonymous Spanish bishop. 4 " Credimus," we 
read therein, ". . . nee imaginarium corpus aut phan- 
tasmatis alicuius in eo [sell. Christ o] fuisse, sed solidum 
et verum; hunc et esuriisse et sitiisse et doluisse et 
nevisse et omnes corporis iniurias pertulisse We believe 
that the body of Christ was not imaginary, nor a mere 
phantasm, but real and substantial, and that He experi 
enced hunger, and thirst, and pain, and grief, and all the 
sufferings of the body." 5 

The Docetic heresy was repeatedly condemned. At 
the Second Council of Lyons (A. D. 1274) a profession 
of faith was submitted by a number of bishops who rep 
resented the Greek Emperor Michael Palaeologus. 6 This 
document contains the following passage : " Credimus 
ipsum Filium Dei . . . Deum verum et hominem verum, 

3 Funk-Cappadelta, A Manual of 5 Cfr. Denzinger-Bannwart, En- 
Church History, Vol. I, pp. 83 sqq., chiridion, n. 19. 

90 sqq., London 1910. 6 Cfr. Alzog-Pabisch-Byrne, Man- 

4 See K. Kiinstle, Antipriscilliana, ual of Universal Church History, 
pp. 30 sqq., Freiburg 1905. Vol. II, pp. 814 sqq. 


proprium in utraque natura atque perfectum, non adopti- 
vum, nee phantasticum, sed unum et unicum filium Dei 
We believe that the Son of God [is] true God and 
true man, proper and perfect in both natures, not an 
adoptive or fantastic, but the one and only-begotten Son 
of God." 7 

A very important dogmatic definition is the famous 
Decretum pro lacobitis, promulgated by Pope Eugene 
IV at the Council of Florence, A. D. 1439. This decree 
condemns seriatim all Christological heresies, beginning 
with those of Ebion, Cerinthus, and Marcion, down to 
the Monothelite vagaries of Macarius of Antioch. 
Against Docetism it says: " Anathematizat [Ecclesia] 
etiam Manichaum cum sectatoribus suis, qui Dei Filium 
non verum corpus, sed phantasticum sumpsisse somnian- 
tes humanitatis in Christo veritatem penitus sustulerunt, 
necnon Valentinum asserentem Dei Filium nihil de Vir- 
gine Maria cepisse, sed corpus coeleste sumpsisse atque 
transiisse per uterum Virginis, sicut per aquaeductum 
defluens aqua transcurrit [The Church] anathematizes 
also Mani, together with his followers, who, imagining 
that the Son of God assumed not a true but an ap- 
paritional body, utterly deny Christ s manhood. [She 
likewise condemns] Valentinus, who asserts that the Son 
of God took naught from the Virgin Mary, but assumed 
a celestial body and passed through the Virgin s womb 
as water flows through an aqueduct." 8 

The ecclesiastical definitions just quoted are 
firmly grounded in Sacred Scripture and Tradi 

7 Cfr. Denzinger-Bannwart, Enchi- 8 Cfr. Denzinger-Bannwart, Enchi 

ridion, n. 462. ridion, 11. 710. 



a) Christ s manhood is so manifestly in evi 
dence throughout the Synoptic Gospels that we 
can content ourselves with citing but a few of 
the many available texts. Again and again He 
speaks of Himself as the "Son of Man." 9 While 
it may be readily allowed that in the mouth of 
the Redeemer this title means far more than a 
mere assertion of His humanity, 10 it can surely 
not be reconciled with the assumption of a 
merely fictitious or apparitional body; for else 
He could not have told the Jews: 1: "Now you 
seek to kill 12 me, a man who have spoken the 
truth to you." In manifesting Himself to the 
two disciples at Emmaus, after the Resurrection, 
He showed them His glorified body, which 
bore the marks of the Crucifixion, saying: 13 
"See my hands and feet, that it is I myself; 
handle, and see : for a spirit 14 hath not flesh 
and bones, as you see me to have." A visible 
and tangible body of flesh and bone cannot be 
a phantasm; it must be real and material. In 
perfect consonance with this realism is the Scrip 
tural use of the term "flesh," which leaves no 
doubt whatever as to the materiality of the man 
Jesus. St. John does not say : "The Word was 
made man"; he employs the far more graphic 
phrase: "The Word was made fash" 15 

8 Filius hominis. 13 Luke XXIV, 39. 

10 V. supra, pp. 1 6 sq. 14 Spiritus, Trvev/j.a, *, a pure 

11 John VIII, 40. spirit, wraith. 

12 diroKTeivai. I 5 John I, 14. 


In vain did the Docetse bolster their contention by 
an appeal to Rom. VIII, 3 : " God sending his own 
Son, in the likeness of sinful flesh and of sin." 18 
" Likeness " here is not synonymous with " semblance," 
but denotes identity of nature. St. Paul wishes to say 
that the flesh of Christ was consubstantial with ours ex 
cept as touching sin. Cfr. Heb. IV, 15 : " For we have 
not a high priest, who cannot have compassion on our 
infirmities : but one tempted in all things like as we are, 
without sin." Another favorite passage with the Docetae 
was Phil. II, 7, where St. Paul attributes to the Son 
of God " the form of a servant." 17 But the expression 
" form of a servant " can no more mean " semblance 
of man " than " form of God " 18 in the preceding verse 
means " semblance of God." 19 

b) The Fathers rigorously maintained the 
reality of Christ s manhood, as is evidenced by 
the sharply anti-Docetic tenor of the seven genu 
ine Epistles 20 of St. Ignatius of Antioch. 

a) To quote but one passage: 21 "And He 
[Christ] suffered truly, even as He truly raised 
Himself up, not as some unbelievers say, that He 
suffered in appearance, existing themselves in ap- 

16 " Deus Filium suum mittens in 20 On these Epistles cfr. Barden- 
similitudinem carnis peccati (e^ hewer-Shahan, Patrology, pp. 30 
6/iOiw/uart capicbs dytcaprt as)." sqq. 

17 " Who being in the form of 21 Kai d\?70ws eiraOev, us Kal 
God, thought it not robbery to be d\7)0us dveffrrjffev eavTOi/, ou% 
equal with God; but emptied him- tiff-rrep airiffTol rives \eyovffi, TO 
self, taking the form of a servant doKeiv aiirbv ire-rrovdevai, avrol ri> 
(forma servi, fjLopcpT] 5ov\ov) ." 5o/ceiV ovres" (Ep. ad Smyrn., c. 

18 Forma Dei, /iop0T) Qeov- 2.) Cfr. Funk s Latin translation 

19 Cfr. Pohle-Preuss, The Divine of the passage and his note on it in 
Trinity, p. 62. the Patres Apostolici, j. h. I. 


pearance ;" that is to say, if Christ suffered only 
in appearance, they who assert this, themselves 
have a merely apparitional existence, and thus we 
should land in utter scepticism. 

In the West Tertullian vigorously refuted the Docetic 
errors of Marcion and his adherents by pointing out 
their absurd consequences : " Quomodo in illo [scil. 
Christo] vera erunt, si ipse non fuit vcrus, si non vere 
habuit in se, quod [cruci] figeretur, quod moreretur, 
quod sepeliretur et resuscitaretur? Carnem scilicet san 
guine suffusam, ossibus structam, nervis intextam, venis 
implexam, quae nasci et mori novitf " 22 

/?) But the early Fathers were not satisfied 
with a bare statement of the dogma ; they sought 
to explain our Lord s humanity theologically and 
philosophically. Their favorite mode of argu 
mentation was that familiarly known as deductip 
ad absurdum. 

Docetism is subversive of the very foundations of 
Christianity, they said, for if Christ had not a genuine 
human body, the entire work of Redemption would 
be nugatory. " Sequitur," says Tertullian, 23 " ut omnia 
quae per carnem Chris ti gesta sunt, mendacio gesta sint. 
. . . Ever sum est igitur totum Dei opus, totum Chri- 
stiani nominis et pondus et fructus; mors Christi negatur, 
.... negata vero morte nee de resurrectione constat." 
The Docetic heresy is also opposed to the dogma of 
Christ s Divinity. "Non erat" says the same writer, 24 

22 De Carne Christi, c. 5. 24 Tertullian, /. c., Ill, 8. 

23 Adv. Marcion., Ill, 8, 


" quod videbatur, et quod erat, mentiebatur: caro nee 
caro, homo nee homo, proinde Christus Deus nee Deus. 
Cur enim non etiam Dei phantasma portaveritf" And 
St. Augustine writes : " If the body of Christ was a 
mere phantasm, Christ was a deceiver; and if He was 
a deceiver, He is not the truth. But Christ is the truth ; 
consequently His body was not a phantasm." 25 Need 
less to remark, the Docetic theory was not apt to kindle 
enthusiasm for the faith or eagerness to lay down one s 
life in its defense. " If all this was a mere semblance 
[*. e., if Christ suffered only in appearance]," 26 ex 
claims St. Ignatius, 27 " my handcuffs, too, are an illu 
sion. Why, then, did I give myself up to death, to fire, 
to the sword, to wild beasts?" 28 The Docetic hy 
pothesis is furthermore destructive of natural certitude. 
For to assert that Christ and His Apostles were either 
idiots or impostors, is to fly in the face of historic evi 
dence and common sense. Such a proceeding must lead 
to absolute scepticism. St. Irenaeus effectively urges this 
argument : " How can these [Docetic heretics] imagine 
that they are engaged in a real controversy, if their mas 
ter [Christ] had merely an imaginary existence? . . . 
Whatever they say and do is purely imaginary, and we 
may well ask : Since they are not men, but brute beasts, 
are not they themselves parading in the guise of human 
beings?" 29 

25 "Si phantasma fuit corpus Chicago 1909; Tixeront, History of 
Christi, fefellit Christus, et si fefel- Dogmas, I, pp. 124 sq. 

lit, veritas non est. Est autem ve- 29 " Quomodo enim ipsi vere se 

ritas Christus: non igitur fuit phan- putant disputare, quando magister 

tasma corpus eius." (LXXXIII, eorum putativus fuit? . . . Putati- 

Quaest., qu. 14.) vum est igitur et non veritas omne 

26 rb doKeiV apud eos. Et nunc iam quaeritur, 

27 Ep. ad Smyrn., c. 4. ne forte, quum et ipsi homines non 

28 On the Christology of Ignatius, sint sed muta animalia, hominum 
see J. C. Granbery, Outline of New umbras apud plurimos perferant." 
Testament Christology, pp. no sqq., (Adz: Haer., IV, 33, 5.) 


READINGS: Mead, Fragments of a Faith Forgotten, London 
I90 6._J. H. Blunt, Dictionary of Sects, Heresies, etc., London 
^74 J. P. Arendzen, art. " Docetae " in the Catholic Encyclo 
pedia, Vol. V. 



THE CHURCH. The dogmatic definition of the 
humanity of Jesus Christ against the Docetae 
clearly involved the inference that the manhood 
of our Blessed Redeemer was essentially com 
posed of a material body and a spiritual soul. 
Nevertheless Arius declared Christ to be a syn 
thesis of the Logos with inanimate flesh, while 
Apollinaris argued that, though our Lord had a 
soul, He lacked reason. 

a) The Arians were consistent with themselves 
in affirming that Christ, whom they believed to be 
a synthesis of the Logos with soulless flesh, had 
no human soul. 

The Arian idea was that the Logos simply supplied 
and exercised the functions of a human soul. The im- 
piousness of this heresy lay in its denial of the Divinity of 
the Logos, which explains the remark made by St. 
Athanasius : " The Arians vainly have recourse to sub 
tleties, saying that the Saviour assumed mere flesh, and 


impiously ascribing the passion to the impassible God 
head." * 

Thus Arianism was a Christological heresy 
only indirectly and by implication, whereas Apol- 
linarianism expressly attacked the integrity of our 
Lord s manhood. 

Apollinaris was Bishop of Laodicea in Syria and died 
in the year 390. After having valiantly supported St. 
Athanasius in his defense of the Homoousion, he fell 
away from the orthodox faith and asserted that the 
body of Christ was animated by an inferior life-prin 
ciple (i/ar^ ^eoTwoj aAoyos), but had no human or rational 
soul (faxy XoyiKrj, voepa) ; the place of the missing vov<s 
being supplied by the Divine Logos. 2 In other words, 
the Son of God actually assumed living flesh (o-ap, i. e., 
an animated body), but the place of the human vows or 
jrvtvfjia was supplied by the Godhead. This new heresy 3 
was based on two separate and distinct errors: (i) A 
wrong notion of the human synthesis, which Apollinaris 
imagined to consist of three separate and distinct ele 
ments, vis.: flesh, soul, and reason; 4 (2) a misconcep 
tion of the true nature of the Hypostatic Union, by 
virtue of which Divinity and humanity subsist side by 
side in the personal unity of the Logos. If Christ were 
a perfect man, argued Apollinaris, He would have two na 
tures, which means two persons, and hence there would be 
two Sons of God, one begotten and the other adopted, be- 

1 Contr. Apollin., I. 3 Bardenhewer-Shahan, Patrology, 

2 Cfr. Funk-Cappadelta, A Manual pp. 242 sq. 

of Church History, Vol. I, pp. 153 4 crdp, ffufia, ^vx~n 0X0705; vovs, 

sq., London 1910; Pohle-Preuss, irvevfACL ^V^TJ \0yiK7), This di- 

God the Author of Nature and the vision is Platonic. 
Supernatural, p. 145. 


cause two beings each of which is perfect in itself, can 
never be united into one (Bvo WAeta ev ytveaOai ov 

b) In condemning Apollinarianism the Church 
simultaneously struck at the Christological heresy 
of the Arians. 

a) Regardless of his early friendship for Apollinaris, 
St. Athanasius persuaded the Council of Alexandria 
(A. D. 362) to anathematize the errors of that heretic. A 
more important definition is contained in the seventh 
anathema of Pope Damasus at the Council of Rome, 380 : 
" Anathematizamus eos, qui pro hominis anima rationabili 
et intelligibili dicunt Dei Verbum in humana came ver- 
satum We pronounce anathema against those who say 
that the Word of God is in the human flesh in lieu 
and place of the human, rational, and intellective soul." 
The phrase IK </^x^s Aoyc/^s /cat o-w/xaros recurs in the de 
crees of many subsequent councils, especially that of Chal- 
cedon (A. D. 451),* and soon takes rank as a technical 
term. Among Western creeds the " Athanasian " is mod 
elled upon the symbol of Chalcedon in the passage which 
reads : " Perfectus Deus, perfectus homo, ex anima ra- 
tionali et humana came subsistens Perfect God and 
perfect man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh sub 
sisting." 7 Arianism and Apollinarianism were again 
condemned in the fifteenth century by Eugene IV in his 
Decretum pro lacobitis, published at the Council of 
Florence: " Anathematizat [Ecclesia] Arium etiam, qui 

5 Cfr. St. Athanasius, Contra in the Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. I. 

ApolL, I, 2; J.Draseke, Apollinaris 6 Also in that of Constantinople, 

von Laodicea, sein Leben und seine A. D. 381. 

Schriften, Leipzig 1892; G. Voisin, 7 Cfr. Denzinger-Bannwart, En- 

L Apollinarisme, Louvain 1901; J. chiridion, n. 40, 65. 
F. Sollier, art. " Apollinarianism " 


ass er ens corpus ex virgine assumptum animd carulsse 
voluit loco animae fuisse deitatem; Apollinarem quoque, 
qui intelligens, si anima corpus informans negetur in 
Christo, humanitatem veram ibidem non fuisse, solam 
posuit animam sensitivam, sed deitatem Verbi vicem ra- 
tionalis animae tenuisse [The Church] pronounces 
anathema also against Arius, who, asserting that the 
body [which Jesus] assumed from the Virgin lacked a 
soul, held that the Godhead took the place of the soul; 
and likewise against Apollinaris, who, aware that if we 
deny the existence in Christ of a soul informing the 
body, He cannot have possessed a true human nature, 
taught that Jesus had only a sensitive soul and that 
the Godhead of the Logos supplied the place of the ra 
tional soul." 8 

) Of exceptional importance among the ec 
clesiastical definitions of our dogma is a decree 
of the Council of Vienne, 9 which not only asserts 
the co-existence in Jesus Christ of a body and a 
rational soul, but defines their mutual relation. 
"Confitemur, unigenitum Dei Filium in Us omni 
bus, in quibus Deus Pater existit, una cum Patre 
aeternaliter subsistentem, partes nostrae naturae 
simul unit as , ex quibus ipse in se verus Deus 
existens Heret verus homo, humanum videlicet 
corpus passibile et animam intellectivam seu ra- 
tionalem ipsum corpus vere per se et essentialiter 
informantem assumpsisse ex tempore in virginali 
thalamo ad unitatem suae hypostasis et personae." 

8 Cfr. Denzinger-Bannwart, Enchiridion, n. 710. 
9 A. D. 1311. 


Anglice: "We profess that the only-begotten 
Son of God, who eternally subsists with the 
Father in all those respects in which the Father 
exists, assumed in time, in the virgin s bridal 
chamber, the parts of our nature united together, 
by which He, being in Himself true God, became 
true man ; viz. : a passible human body and an in 
tellective or rational soul informing that body 
truly per se and essentially ; and that He assumed 
them into the unity of His Hypostasis and 
Person/ 10 

matic teaching of the Church in regard to the 
integrity of Christ s human nature is merely the 
technical formulation of a truth plainly contained 
in Holy Scripture and Tradition. 

a) The New Testament writings, especially 
the Gospels, portray Jesus Christ in His daily 
intercourse with men, in His joys and sorrows. 
They tell how He suffered hunger and thirst, 
weariness and exhaustion. It is impossible to 
assume that He who conversed as a man with 
men and shared their sentiments, had no human 
(i. e. rational) soul. 

That He Himself expressly claimed such a soul is 
evidenced by a number of unmistakable texts ; e. g. John 
X, 17: "Ego pono animam meam (rrjv if/vxyv pov), ut 

10 On the bearing of this definition see Pohle-Preuss, God the Author of 
Nature and the Supernatural, pp. 142 sqq. 


iterum sumam earn." Our English Bible renders this 
passage as follows : " I lay down my life, that I may 
take it again." But even if anima were here synonymous 
with " life " (vita, <4), we should evidently have to as 
sume the existence of a soul, because without a soul 
there can be neither life nor death. Our Divine Re 
deemer exclaims on the Cross : " Father, into thy 
hands I commend my spirit." X1 " Spirit" in this con 
text manifestly does not mean the " Divinity " of the 
Logos, but His human soul, about to leave His body. 
For St. Luke adds : " And saying this, he gave up the 
ghost." 12 What is here called " spirit " (spiritus, 
is elsewhere referred to as " soul " (anima, 
y), so that we have solid Scriptural warrant for say 
ing : Spirit = soul, i. e., spiritual soul (anima rationalis) . 

Probably the text most fatal to Arianism and Apolli- 
narianism is Matth. XXVI, 38 : " My soul is sorrowful 
even unto death." Here Christ unequivocally asserts that 
He has a soul susceptible to the spiritual affection of sor 
row. Such a soul cannot be other than a spiritual soul. 13 

The mutual relationship of body and soul in the sacred 
humanity of our Lord, as defined by the Council of 
Vienne, has a solid Scriptural foundation in the fact that 
the Bible again and again refers to Jesus Christ as " true 
man," " the Son of man," and " Son of Adam." One 
of the most effective texts is i Tim. II, 5 : " There 
is one God, and one mediator of God and men, the man 
Christ Jesus." Obviously Christ would not be true man, 
nor could He act as mediator between God and men if, 

11 rb irvev/iid fiov. Luke XXIII, X: " Tristis est non ipse Deus, sed 
46. anima; suscepit enim animam meam, 

12 eeirvVffev t expiravit. See Luke suscepit corpus meum; non me fe- 
XXIII, 46. fellit, ut alius esset et alius videre- 

isCfr. St. Ambrose, In Luc., 1. tur." 


instead of being united in an essential unity of nature, 
body and soul had existed separately in His Person. 

But does not the Johannine dictum : 14 " Et verbum 
caro 15 factum est " preclude the existence of a spir 
itual soul in Christ? It does not, because the synec- 
dochical use of " flesh " for " man " is quite common 
throughout the Bible. 18 

b) In formulating the Patristic argument for 
our thesis it will be advisable to regard the 
Fathers ( i ) as simple witnesses of Tradition and 
(2) as theologians or philosophers concerned with 
the speculative demonstration of the dogma. 

) Let us first consider their testimony as that 
of simple witnesses to Tradition. 

Those of the Fathers who lived after the ter 
mination of the Arian and Apollinarist contro 
versy, express themselves with unmistakable 
clearness. 17 The case is different with certain 
earlier Fathers, who are charged by Protestant 
writers 18 with having held Arian or Apollinarist 
views on the subject of Christology. It is easy to 
show that this charge is unfounded. Some of the 
earliest among the Fathers believed that Christ 
was constituted of "flesh" (caro, <p) and "spirit" 
(spiritus, wrei/*a) but they were far from regard 
ing Him as a compound of Divinity and in- 

14 John I, 14. 17 Cfr. Thomassin, De Incarna- 

15 <rdp. tione, IV, 8 sq. 

16 For the necessary references 18 E. g., Munscher, De Wette, 
consult Card. Franzelin, De Verbo Neander. 

Incarnate, thes. n. 


animate flesh. By "spirit" they simply under 
stood His Divinity, and for this reason they 
could not and did not attach to "flesh" any other 
meaning than does the Bible when it employs the 
term by synecdochy for "man." 

Take, e. g., St. Ignatius of Antioch, who stands in the 
front row of the Fathers thus accused. Though he re 
peatedly describes the Saviour as <rapKo</>o/3os (flesh- 
bearer), he is careful to explain that our Lord was a 

" perfect man " (re Aetos ayfyxoTros). 19 

St. Irenaeus employs " flesh " and " man " as synony 
mous terms when he teaches that " The Word of God 
was made flesh, . . . because the Word of God was also 
true man." 20 The correctness of this interpretation is 
confirmed by the fact that in another passage of the 
same work Irenaeus expressly mentions the soul of Christ. 
Adopting a similar expression from St. Clement of 
Rome, 21 (who has also been accused of heresy), Irenaeus 
says : " The mighty Word was also true man . . . since 
He redeemed us with His blood and gave up His soul 
for our souls 22 and His flesh for our flesh." 23 

Not even Tertullian, who notoriously held false views 
on the metaphysical essence of spiritual substances (e. g., 
God, the soul), 24 can be convicted of heresy in his 
Christological teaching. It is sufficient for our present 
purpose to note that, in common with the rest of the 
Fathers, Tertullian attributes to the Godman a soul sub- 
is Epist. ad Smyrn. 23 Contr. Haer., V, i, i. 
ZOContr. Haer., V, 18, 3: " Ver- 24 Cfr. Pohle-Preuss, God: His 
bum Dei caro factum est, . . . quo- Knowability, Essence and Attri- 
niam Verbum Dei et homo verus." butes, pp. 293 sqq.; and also Pohle- 

21 i Ep. ad Cor., n. 49. Preuss, God the Author of Nature 

22 SOVTOS rrjv tyvxyv urrep TUIV and the Supernatural, pp. 166 sq. 


stantially like ours. Distinguishing clearly between body 
and soul, 25 he asserts the existence in Christ of two con 
stitutive elements, viz.: a material body and a human soul, 
and indignantly combats Marcion s assertion that Christ, 
in His outward appearance, was merely a soul clothed in 
the semblance of flesh (anima carnalis). 26 Towards the 
end of his anti-Docetic treatise De Came Christi, Tertul- 
lian gives the following perfectly orthodox account of the 
constitution of our Blessed Redeemer: "Homo, qua 
caro et anima, et filius hominis; qua autem Spiritus Dei et 
Virtus Altissimi, Deus et Dei Filius As flesh and soul, 
He was a man, and the Son of man ; but as the Spirit of 
God and the Power of the Most High, he is God and the 
Son of God." 27 

) In order to obtain a more accurate notion 
of the teaching of the Fathers on this subject, we 
must study the explanations they give with a view 
to bringing Christ s humanity as nearly as possi 
ble within the grasp of reason. All we can do 
within the limits of this treatise is to call attention 
to two important points of view. 

Not a few of the Fathers 28 demonstrate 
the necessity of a rational soul in Christ by 

25 The soul he identifies with the mam quoque humanae conditionis 
Ego. Cfr. De Came Christi, c. ostenderit, non faciens earn carnem, 
12: "In hoc vana distinctio est, sed induens earn came." 

quasi nos seorsum ab anima simus, 27 De Came Christi, c. 14. On 

quum totum quod sumus anima sit; the Christological teaching of Ter- 

deinde sine anima nihil sumus, ne tullian cfr. J. Tixeront, History of 

hominis quidem, sed cadavcris no- Dogmas, Vol. I (English ed.), pp. 

men." 315 sqq., St. Louis 1911. 

26 De Came Christi, c. 1 1 : 28 Cfr. Petavius, De Incarnatione, 
" Redde igitur Christo fidem suam, V, 1 1. 

ut qui homo voluerit incedere ani- 


the famous soteriological axiom: "Quod as- 
sumptum non est, non est sanatum" or, as 
St. Gregory of Nazianzus expresses it: T yo-p 
aTTpovfajTTTov aOtpaTTcvTov. 29 The meaning of this 
axiom is: Our own souls would remain unre 
deemed, had not the Son of God assumed a spir 
itual soul. Gregory develops this thought as fol 
lows : "If any one put his hope in a man desti 
tute of reason, he is indeed unreasonable and un 
worthy of being wholly redeemed. For that 
which has not been assumed, is not cured ; but that 
which is united with God [i. e. the Logos] par 
takes of salvation. If only half of Adam fell, let 
but half of him be assumed and saved. But if 
the whole [Adam] sinned, He [i. e. the Logos] 
is also united with the whole, and the whole 
[man] attains to salvation." 30 Similar passages 
can be cited from Tertullian and St. Ambrose. 31 

Another Christological principle, which some 
of the Fathers effectively urged against Apol- 
linaris, and which was subsequently incorporated 
into the Scholastic system, is this : "Verbum as- 
sumpsit carnem mediante animd (rationali)," 
i. e., The Word assumed flesh through the media 
tion of the rational soul. 

29 Ep. ioi ad Cledon., 7. turn utique suscepit, quod erat hu 
so Ibid. manae perfectionis." Cfr. St. Au- 
31 Ambros., Ep. 48 ad Sabin., 5: gustine, De Civitate Dei, X, 27; St. 

" Si enim aliquid ei [i. e. Christ o~\ Fulgentius, Ad. Trasamundum, I, 6. 

defuit, non totum redemit . . . to- 


This does not mean that the Son of God first assumed 
a spiritual soul and then, flesh. Nor does it signify that 
the spiritual soul of Christ constituted, as it were, a per 
manent bond of union between His body and His Divin 
ity. The Fathers wished to say that the only kind of 
flesh capable of being assumed by the Godhead was flesh 
animated by a truly human, i. e. rational soul, as its 
forma essentialis, because it would have been altogether 
unbecoming for God to enter into Hypostatic Union with 
a body animated by a mere brute soul. But did not the 
Logos remain united with the body of Christ during the 
three days from His death to His Resurrection? Yes, 
but our axiom loses none of its truth for that. For, as 
St. Bonaventure explains, " Anima non recedebat a cor- 
pore simpliciter, sed solum ad tempus; et corpus illud ex 
prima coniunctione sui ad animam dispositionem ad in- 
corruptionem habebat: et ideo propter separationem ipsius 
animae congruitatem ad unionem [hypostaticam] non 
amittebat; et ideo quamvis anima separaretur a carne, 
non tamen oportebat divinitatem a carne separari." 32 It 
is only by taking anima rationalis as the forma essentialis 
of the body that we shall be enabled to understand why 
the Fathers, after the time of Apollinaris, so strongly 
emphasized the " rationality of Christ s flesh " which is 
really a somewhat paradoxical expression. Thus St. 
Athanasius says : " The Saviour having become man, 
it is impossible that His body should lack reason." 33 
And St. Cyril of Alexandria teaches : " We must be 
lieve that He who is by nature God, was made flesh, 
L e., a man animated by a rational soul." 34 The same 

32 Comment, in Quatuor Libras 33 avoi^rov elvai rb ffwfia avrov. 

Sent., Ill, dist. 2, art. 3, qu. i. Ep. ad Antiochen. (Migne, P. G., 

Cfr. Petavius, De Incarnation?, IV, XXVI, 795 sqq.). 

13, and St. Thomas, Summa Theol., 34 g Tt KOTO <$>vaiv Oeos &v yeyove 

3a, qu. 6, art. i sq. <rdp|, ijyovv ditdpujros e/j.\{/vxo/j.- 


Saint habitually employs the phrase o-oi/xa 
Sophronius even speaks of a aap e/Ai/a^os Aoyt/<^. 35 All 
of which proves that the dogmatic definition of the 
Council of Vienne was firmly rooted in Tradition. 

THREE SUBSTANCES." Apollinarianism raised 
a new problem, viz.: Must Christ be conceived 
dichotomically, as consisting of Divinity and hu 
manity, or trichotomously, of "three substances," 
i. e., Logos, soul, and body ? 

A tacit compromise finally led to the adoption of the 
famous Scholastic formula : " Duae naturae et ires sub- 
stantiae" By expressly emphasizing the two natures in 
Christ, this formula was calculated to prevent the mis 
conception that body and soul are, like the Logos, each 
a complete nature or substance, while in fact they are 
merely component parts of Christ s sacred humanity. 
The sole excuse for speaking of " three substances " was 
the necessity of safeguarding the integrity of our Lord s 
human nature against Arianism, and especially against 
Apollinarianism. In this sense alone was the phrase em 
ployed by the Fathers. Justin Martyr enumerates <r<5/*a 
/cat Ao yos KCU \[/vxr) as the three constitutive elements of 
Christ. 3 * The teaching of St. Augustine is more definite 
still : " Man consists of a soul and flesh," he says, " and 
consequently Christ consists of the Logos, a soul, and 
flesh." 37 

In spite of this legitimate use, the phrase did not al 
ways meet with favor on the part of the Church. The 

vos faxy \oyiKT), Ep. ad Nestor., thor of Nature and the Supcrnat- 
3 n - 19- ural, p. 146. 

35 Cfr. Pohle-Preuss, God the Au- 36 Apol., II, n. 10. 

37 Scrm. Contr. Arian., IX, n. 7. 


Eleventh Council of Toledo (A. D. 675) taught that 
" Christ exists in two natures, but in three substances." 38 
But when the Fourteenth Council of Toledo, held only 
nine years later, repeated this phrase, Pope Sergius the 
First demanded an " explanation." The demand was 
complied with by St. Julian of Toledo, and His explana 
tion satisfied the Pope. 39 A century later (A. D. 794) 
the formula was expressly disapproved by a provincial 
council held at Frankfort against the Adoptionists. The 
decrees of this council, which are vested with special au 
thority on account of their formal approbation by Pope 
Hadrian I, contain the following passage: "In profes- 
sione Nicaeni symboli non invenimus dictum, in Christo 
duas naturas et ires substantias et homo deificatus et 
Deus humanatus Quid est natura hominis nisi anima 
et corpus? Vel quid est inter naturam et substantiam, ut 
tres substantias necesse sit nobis dicer e? . . . Consu- 
etudo ecclesiastica solet in Christo duas substantias no- 
minare, Dei videlicet et hominis." 40 In spite of this rep 
rimand, however, the formula of the " three substances " 
continued in use and ultimately became part of the ap 
proved Scholastic terminology. St. Bonaventure unhes 
itatingly speaks of a " threefold substance " in Christ, and 
St. Thomas Aquinas teaches : " The name man, applied 
to Christ, also signifies His Divine Person, and thus im 
plies three substances." 41 The orthodoxy of the formula, 
therefore, when used in the sense which we have ex 
plained, cannot be questioned. 42 

38 " Christus in his duabus na- de Christo, dicit etiam divinam per- 
turis, tribus exstat substantiis." sonam, et sic dicit tres substantias." 
(Cfr. Denzinger-Bannwart, Enchiri- (Comment, in Quatuor Libras Sent., 
dion, n. 284). Ill, dist. 6, qu. i, art. 3.) 

39 Cfr. Vasquez, Comment in S. 42 Cfr. L. Janssens, De Deo- 
Th., Ill, disp. 37, c. 2-3. Hominc, I, 156 sqq., Friburgi 1901; 

40 Cfr. Denzinger-Barmwart, En- De Lugo, De Myst. Incarn., disp. 
chiridion, n. 312. 13, sect, i (ed. Paris. 1890, t. II, 

41 " Hoc nomen homo dictum pp. 636 sqq.). 



The dogma that Christ is true man, implies not only 
the reality and integrity of His human nature, but like 
wise the origin of that nature from Mary. It is this 
latter fact which beyond aught else guarantees the reality 
and integrity of our Lord s sacred manhood. In other 
words, Christ is truly and integrally a man because, by 
maternal generation from the Virgin-mother Mary, He 
is a " Son of Adam " according to the flesh, and conse 
quently our " Brother." To establish unity of species be 
tween Himself and us it would have been sufficient for the 
Logos to have brought His humanity with Him from 
Heaven. But his humanity is specifically identical with 
ours. It is founded upon kinship of race and blood re 
lation. By His " real incorporation with our kind " in 
Adam, Jesus Christ is " bone of our bone and flesh of 
our flesh." 

tain Gnostics of the second century, notably Val- 
entinus 1 and Apelles, a disciple of Marcion, 2 
who held an attenuated Docetism, admitted 

i Valentinus flourished about 2 Cfr. Bardenhewer-Shahan, Pa- 

A. D. 150. His false teaching (see trology, p. 80; Tixeront, History of 

Burt, Dictionary of Sects, pp. 612 Dogmas, Vol. I, pp. 183 sqq. 
sqq.) was refuted by St. Irenaeus. 



the reality and integrity of Christ s human na 
ture only after a fashion. Their theory was that 
He possessed a "celestial body." This teaching 
involved a denial (i) of the earthly origin of 
Christ s manhood, and (2) of His conception 
and birth by the Virgin Mary. In describing 
the latter Valentinus employed the simile of 
"water flowing through a channel." 3 Similar 
errors were harbored by the Paulicians of Syria, 4 
and, in modern times, by the Anabaptists, the 
Quakers, and certain pseudo-mystics of the six 
teenth century. 5 

b) The Church never for a moment left her 
faithful children in doubt as to the true origin 
and descent of Jesus. The Ecumenical Council 
of Chalcedon (A.D. 451) defined: "Docemus, 
eundemque [Christum] perfectum in deitate et 
eundem perfectum in humanitate, Deum verum 
et hominem verum, eundem ex anima rationali et 
corpore, consubstantialem Patri secundum delta- 
tern, consubstantialem nobis eundem secundum 

(ofjioovaiov TO> irarpl Kara rrjv OeorrjTa^ Kal 6/xo- 
rjfuv TOP avrov Kara TIJV avOpuTroTYjTa ^ pQY Omnia 

nobis similem absque peccato; ante saecula qui- 

3 ws Sia. awXrjvos vdup. Cfr. Epi- pp. 761 sqq. ; cfr. also Funk-Cappa- 
phanius, Haer., XXXI, 7. delta, A Manual of Church History, 

4 The Paulicians were "but the Vol. I, pp. 265 sq., London 1910; 
Priscillianists of the East." For an Conybeare, The Key of Truth, Lon- 
account of their curious beliefs see don 1898. 

Alzog-Pabisch-Byrne, Manual of 5 Weigel, Petersen, Dippel, and 

Universal Church History, Vol. I, others. 


dem de Patre genitum (yew^eVra) secundum dei- 
tatem, in novissimis autem diebus eundem prop- 
ter nos et propter nostram salutem, ex Maria Vir- 

gine Dei genltrice (* Maptas r^s irapOivov rrjs OCOTOKOV} 

secundum humanitatem We teach that He 
[Christ] is perfect in Godhead and perfect in 
manhood, being truly God and truly man; that 
He is of a rational soul and body, consubstan- 
tial with the Father as touching the Godhead, 
and consubstantial with us as touching His man 
hood, being like us in all things, sin excepted; 
that, as touching His Godhead, He was begotten 
of the Father before the worlds ; and, as touching 
His manhood, He was for us and for our salva 
tion born of Mary, the Virgin, Mother of God." 6 

This is a most important dogmatic definition, and in 
order to grasp its full import the student should ponder 
the following points : 

(1) Christ s homoousia with the Father and His con- 
substantiality with the human race are not co-ordinate 
relations. The divine homoousia is based on " numerical 
identity " or " tautousia" 7 whereas Christ s consubstan- 
tiality with man rests on a purely " specific identity," 
which, however, in consequence of our common descent 
from Adam, is a true blood-relationship. 

(2) This blood-relationship arises formally and im 
mediately from the fact of Christ s being engendered in 
the Virgin Mary. Had He merely passed through her 
virginal womb, as Valentinus and his fellow sectaries 

6 Denzinger-Bannwart, Enchiri- 7 Cfr. Pohle-Preuss, The Divine 

dion, n. 148. Trinity, pp. 255 sqq. 


held, no blood-relationship would have been established 
between Him and us. Hence the need of accentuating 

the phrase : yewrjOevTa IK Maptas. 

(3) In order to show that Christ s temporal genera 
tion from His mother is equally true and real with His 
divine generation from the Eternal Father, the Council 
applies to both the one word yevv^Oivra, without, of course, 
thereby denying the fundamental distinction between di 
vine and creatural generation. 

(4) The dogma would not be complete without a dis 
tinct reference to the purpose of the Redemption, inas 
much as the Adamic origin of Christ is intimately 
bound up with His mediatorial office and the redemption 
of the human race. The creeds, including that of Chal- 
cedon, bring out this soteriological relation by the typical 
additament: " Propter nos et propter nostram salutem 

(8t* r]fJi.d<s KCU Sta Trjv rjfJieTepav crcorr^piav) ." 

Scripture teaches that Christ became consubstan- 
tial with man by descent from Adam, for the 
purpose of redeeming the human race, of which 
He is a member and a scion. 

a) In the Old Testament the Redeemer was 
promised, first as "the seed of the woman," 8 
later as "the seed of Abraham," and in fine 
as "the seed of David." The New Testament 
frequently refers to Him as "the Son of David." 9 

8 Gen. Ill, 15 (the " Protevan- IX, 27; XII, 23; Luke I, 32; Rom. 

gelium"). Cfr. H. P. Liddon, The I, 3; Apoc. V, 5. Cfr. H. J. Cole- 

Divinity of Our Lord and Saviour ridge, S. J., The Preparation of tht 

Jesus Christ, pp. 109 sqq. Incarnation, pp. 209 sqq., London 

" Filius David." Matth. I, i ; 1894. 


Whenever the inspired writers of the New Testament 
wish to point to the fulfilment of the Old Testament 
prophecies in the life of Jesus Christ, they strongly em 
phasize His conception and birth from the Virgin Mary. 
Cfr. Luke I, 31 sq. : " Ecce concipies in utero et paries 
filium. . . . Filius Altissimi vocabitur, et dabit illi Do- 
minus Deus sedem David patris eius Behold thou 
shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a son. 
. . . He . . . shall be called the Son of the Most High; 
and the Lord shall give unto Him the throne of David 
his father." Luke I, 35 : (f Quod nascetur ex te sanc 
tum, vocabitur Filius Dei The Holy which shall be 
born of thee shall be called the Son of God." Matth. I, 
16: " lacob autem genuit Joseph, virum Mariae, de qua 
natus est lesus, qui vocatur Christus (e i?s lywvrjOr) I^o-ovs 
6 Aeyo/xevos Xpwrro?) And Jacob begot Joseph, the hus 
band of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called 
Christ." Rom. I, 3 : " Factus ex semine David secun- 
dum carnem Who was made of the seed of David, 
according to the flesh." Gal. IV, 4: " Misit Deus 
Filium suum factum ex muliere 10 God sent his Son, 
made of a woman." These and many similar texts 
prove, ( i ) that Christ is a genuine descendant of Adam, 
and (2) that He traces his lineage by maternal gen 
eration through Mary, who was a daughter of Adam. 

The soteriological aspect is sharply accentuated by St. 
Paul when he says that the human race was redeemed 
by One who was not only God made man, but also of 
the blood of Adam. Heb. II, n and 14: " Qui enim 
sanctificat et qui sanctificantur, ex uno [scil. Adamo] 
omnes; propter quam causam non confunditur (eVai- 
(rxvvTai)fratres eos vocare . . . ut per mortem destrue- 

10 yevo/Jievov e/c yvvaiKOS. 


ret eum, qui habebat mortis imperium, id est, diabolum 
For both he that sanctifieth, and they who are sanc 
tified, are all of one. For which cause he is not ashamed 
to call them brethren . . . that, through death, he 
might destroy him who had the empire of death, that 
is to say, the devil." J1 

b) In considering the Patristic tradition we 
note the remarkable fact that the early Fathers 
and ecclesiastical writers, down to the time of 
Fulgentius, attribute very great importance to the 
preposition ex in the Scriptural formula "factus 
ex muliere." 12 

Thus Tertullian observes in his work De Came Christi: 
"Per virginem dicitis natum, non ex virgine, et in vulva, 
non ex vulva. Quia et angelus in somnis ad Joseph: 
nam quod in ea natum est inquit, de Spiritu S. est, 
non dixit ex ca. Nempe tamen, etsi ex ea dixisseft, in 
ea dixerat ; in ea enim erat, quod ex ea erat. . . . Sed 
bene, quod idem dicit Matthaeus originem Domini de- 
currens ab Abraham usque ad Mariam: f Jacob, in- 
quit, generavit Joseph, virum Mariae, ex qua nascitur 
Christus. Sed et Paulus grammaticis istis silentium 
imponit: misit inquit, Deus Filium suum factum ex 
muliere Numquid per mulierem, aut in muliere? "^ 
And St. Basil in his treatise on the Holy Ghost says : 
" To show that the God-bearing flesh was formed of 
human material, 14 the Apostle chose a striking phrase; 

11 On Satan s " reign of death " 12 yei>6fj.evov e/c yvvaiicos. Gal. 

cfr. Pohle-Preuss, God the Author IV, 4. 

of Nature and the Supernatural, pp. 13 Tertullian, De Came Christi, c. 

291, 344 sqq. 20. 

14 K rov dvQpwrreiov 


for the expression through the woman might suggest 
the notion of a mere transit ; but this other [phrase] : 
out of the woman/ sufficiently explains the com 
munication of nature existing between Him who was 
born and His mother." 15 

We note in passing that Christ s descent from Adam, 
and His blood-relationship with us, is not impaired by 
the circumstance that His conception was effected with 
out male cooperation. For, as St. Ignatius observes, 
" Our God Jesus Christ was conceived 16 by Mary as the 
fruit of her womb, according to the decree of God, 
from the seed of David, tis true, but of the Holy 
Ghost." 17 Whoever is born of a daughter of Adam, 
though without male cooperation, is a genuine descendant 
of Adam in all respects except original sin. 18 

Why did Christ choose to enter into blood-relationship 
with the children of Adam? Following St. Paul the 
Fathers hold that the reason is to be found in the ulterior 
purpose of the Redemption. According to the classic 
dictum of St. Irenaeus, Christ, as man, was not, like 
Adam, formed of " the slime of the earth," but born 
of a daughter of Adam, " ut non alia plasmatio fieret 
neque alia esset plasmatio, quae salvaretur, sed eadem 
ipsa recapitularetur," 19 or, in the words of St. Athana- 
sius, " in order that the nations be of the same body 
and have a share with Christ." 20 Some of the Fathers 

15 St. Basil, De Spiritu Sancto, c. thor of Nature and the Supernal- 

5, n. 12. Other Patristic comments ural, pp. 279 sqq. The perpetual 

on Gal. IV, 4 in Petavius, De In- virginity of Mary will be treated in 

earn. Verbi, V, 16. Cfr. Durand- Mariology. Cfr. Durand-Bruneau, 

Bruneau, The Childhood of Jesus The Childhood of Jesus Christ, pp. 

Christ, pp. 149 sqq., Philadelphia 153 sqq. 

1910. 19 Contr. Haeres., Ill, 21, 10. 

is eKvo(f>op^0r}, 20 uiffre elvai ra lQvt\ 

17 5. Ign. M., Ep. ad Ephes., n. *ai 0-u/i/teroxa rov 
1 8. Contr. Apollin., II, 5. 

18 Cfr. Pohle-Preuss, God the Au- 


say that Christ assumed the flesh of the entire human 
race for the purpose of redemption. Thus, e. g., St. 
Hilary : " The Word was made flesh and dwelt among 
us, i. e., by assuming the nature of the entire human 
race." 21 And, still more graphically St. Leo the Great : 
" He dwelled among us, whom the Godhead of the Word 
had fitted to itself, whose flesh, taken from the womb of 
the Virgin, we are. . . . He made His own the substance 
of our body, not of any material whatever, but of our 
proper substance." 22 Of course, these are hyperboles. 

a) Although Sacred Scripture frequently refers 
to the Blessed Virgin Mary as "the mother of 
Jesus/ 23 it cannot but surprise the careful 
student that Christ Himself never calls her by 
the tender name of "mother." 

In Matth. XII, 46 sqq. He even expressly rejects this 
name and with a semblance of harshness points to 
the higher duty incumbent on Him of performing the 
will of His Heavenly Father. At the marriage of 
Cana Mary is worried because " they have no wine ; and 
Jesus saith to her: Woman, 24 what is that to me and 
to thee ? My hour is not yet come." 25 From the cross 
He charged her : " Woman, behold thy son," and com 
mitted her to the care of his favorite Apostle with the 

21 " Verbum caro factum est et suam fecit, non de quacunque ma- 
habitavit in nobis, naturam scilicet teria, sed de substantia proprie no- 
universi humani generis assumens." stra." Cfr. Franzelin, De Verbo 
In Ps., 51, 7. Incarnato, thes. 14; Stentrup, 

22 Serm. de Nativ., X, c. 3 : Christologia, thes. 9. 

" Habitavit in nobis, quos sibi Verbi 23 Cfr. Matth. I, 18; II, 21; Luke 

divinitas coaptavit, cuius caro de I, 43; John II, i, et passim, 

utero Virginis sumpta nos sumus. 24 Mulier, yvvai. 

. . . Substantiam nostri corporis 25 John II, 4. 


words : " Behold thy mother." 26 Though this manner 
of speaking, under the circumstances, is pathetic 
rather than surprising, the two passages Matth. XII, 
46 sqq. and John II, 4 cannot be satisfactorily ex 
plained by the observation that the word " woman " 
among the Jews and Greeks denoted respect and es 
teem for the one thus addressed. We must seek for 
a deeper theological explanation. This may be found 

(1) in the fact that it was eminently proper for our 
Divine Redeemer to put His relations to His Heav 
enly Father above the ties of flesh and blood, and 

(2) in the consideration that, beginning with the Prot- 
evangelium, all through Isaias and the Gospels down 
to the Apocalypse, there runs the name of a " woman," 
which organically connects the " first Gospel " with the 
"second," and both in turn with the "last," i. e., St. 
John s Revelation. 27 Professor (now Bishop) Schafer de 
serves credit for having brought out this important point 
of view, which enables us to solve certain knotty exeget- 
ical problems in a perfectly satisfactory way. " Thus," he 
says, " the last book of Divine Revelation points back to 
the first. The woman of the first promise of salvation 
in Paradise, the mother of Him who was to crush the 
head of the Serpent, and through Him the mother of all 
those who possess spiritual life, and conjointly with her, 
in this sense, the Church itself, is the sign heralded by 
Isaias and visioned by St. John on the isle of Patmos." 2S 

26 John XIX, 26 sq. satisfactory explanation see the re- 

27 Cfr. Apoc. XII, i : " Mulier cently published work of B. Bart- 
amicta sole." mann, Christus ein Gegner des 

28 Alois Schafer, Die Gottesmutter Marienkultus? Jesus und seine 
in der HI. Schrift, and ed., p. 251, Mutter in den heiligen Evangelien, 
Miinster 1900. For another equally Freiburg 1909. 


b) Regarding the outward aspect of Christ s 
human nature we have no reliable information. 29 

Tertullian asserts that our Lord closely resembled 
Adam, and he attributes this resemblance to the alleged 
fact that, in fashioning the body of our proto-parent, 
the Creator had before Him as in a vision the portrait 
of " the Second Adam." 30 But this is an entirely gratui 
tous assumption. The conjecture of several Fathers 31 
that the bodily presence of our Divine Lord was contemp 
tible, arose from a misinterpretation of Is. LIII, 2, sqq., 
where the Messias is pictured in His cruel suffering. It 
has been asserted that the impression of our Lord s face 
(Volto Santo) on the so-called Veil of St. Veronica, 
which is preserved in St. Peter s Basilica at Rome, 32 bears 
a certain family resemblance to a portrait found on an 
ancient monument at Karnak and believed to repre 
sent the Jewish King Roboam, a bodily ancestor of our 
Lord. But, as has been pointed out, the name appended 
to this portrait, which was at first deciphered as " Reha- 
beam," is really the name of a city, and the picture itself 
was most probably intended to be a composite portrait 
representing the population. 33 

The description of our Divine Lord contained in the 
report of the alleged ambassadors of King Abgar, is, 

29 On this subject cfr. Vavasseur, 31 E. g., Clement of Alexandria, 
De Forma Cliristi, Paris 1649; Cyprian, and also Tertullian. 

G. A. Miiller, Die leibliche Gestalt 32 Cfr. P. J. Chandlery, S. J., 

Jesu Christi nach der Urtradition, Pilgrim-Walks in Rome, p. 27, 2nd 

Graz 1908; S. J. Hunter, Outlines ed., London 1905. On this and 

of Dogmatic Theology, Vol. II, pp. other apocryphal portraits of Christ 

463 sqq., London 1895; F. Johnson, cfr. C. M. Kaufmann, Christliche 

Have We the Likeness of Christ? Archdologie, pp. 406 sqq., Pader- 

Chicago 1902. born 1905. 

30 Cfr. Pohle-Preuss, God the Au- 33 F. Kaulen in the Kirchenlexi- 
thor of Nature and the Supernal- kon, 2nd ed., Vol. X, 1225, Frei- 
ural, pp. 130 sq. burg 1897. 


of course, quite as spurious as the apocryphal correspond 
ence of Christ with the toparch of Edessa, which has come 
down to us in the so-called Legend of Thaddeus. 3 * 

It is safe to assume that the Son of God, who was con 
ceived by the Holy Ghost, was beautiful in form and fig 
ure, of majestic mien and sympathetic presence. The fact 
that no trustworthy portrait of Him exists may be due 
to a purposive design on the part of Divine Providence, 
lest the beauty of His manhood outshine His spiritual 
form and dignity. 35 

READINGS: J. Morris, Jesus the Son of Mary, 2 vols., Lon 
don 1851. P. Vogt, S. J., Der Stammbaum Christi bei . . . 
Matthdus und Lukas, Freiburg 1907. J. M. Heer, Die Stamm- 
baume Jesu nach Matthdus und Lukas, Freiburg 1910. 

34 Cfr. Bardenhewer-Shahan, Pa- Les Origincs de I Eglise d Edesse et 
trology, pp. 109 sq.; H. Leclercq, la Lcgende d Abgar, Paris 1888. 
art. " Abgar " in the Catholic En- 35 Cfr. Suarez, De Incarn., disp. 

cyclopedia, Vol. I; J. Tixeront, 32, sect. 2; L. Janssens, De Deo- 

Homine, Vol. I, pp. 505 sqq. 



-The term "passibility" (capacity for suffer 
ing), when applied to our Divine Saviour, means 
bodily infirmity to a degree involving the possi 
bility of death (defectus corporis), and in addi 
tion thereto, those psychical affections which are 
technically called vafoi, passiones, 1 by Aristotle 
and St. Thomas. It is necessary to assume such 
physical defects and psychical affections in Christ 
in order to safeguard His human nature and the 
genuineness of the atonement. In other words, 
the passibility of Christ is a necessary postulate of 
His Passion. 

a) To deny our Lord s liability to suffering and death, 
or the immeasurable richness of His soul-life while 
on earth, would be tantamount to asserting that Christ 
merely bore the semblance of a man and that His human 
actions were apparitional, just what the Docetists as 
serted. On the other side we have Monophysitism, the 
doctrine of one composite nature in Christ, which logically 

l " Propriissime dicuntur pas- sicut et cetera, quae ad naturam 
siones animae affectiones appetitus hominis pertinent." 1S. Theol., 33., 
sensitive, quae in Christ o fuerunt, qu. 15, art. 4.) 



leads to the heretical assumption of " Theopaschitism " 
a worthy pendant to Patripassianism, 2 and to the 
equally heretical theory that Christ was absolutely incapa 
ble of suffering. Towards the close of the fifth and the 
beginning of the sixth century, a Monophysitic sect 
under the leadership of Julian of Halicarnassus 3 and 
Gajanus, 4 maintained that the body of Christ was in 
corruptible even before the Resurrection, or, more 
precisely, that it was not subject to decay (<j>0opd). 
These sectaries " were named by their opponents 
Aphthartodocette, i. e., teachers of the incorruptibil 
ity of the body of Christ, or Phantasiasta, i. e., teachers 
of a merely phenomenal body of Christ." 5 Julian was 
at least consistent, but his opponent Severus, Mono- 
physite Bishop of Antioch (512), contradicted his own 
fundamental assumption when He admitted the orthodox 
doctrine that Christ before His Resurrection shared in 
all the bodily sufferings and infirmities of human nature. 
The Severians were therefore called cfrOapToXdrpai or cor- 

b) Meanwhile, at the Ecumenical Council of 
Ephesus (A. D. 431), the Church had laid it 
down as an article of faith that "the Word of God 
suffered in the flesh, and was crucified in the flesh, 
and tasted death in the flesh, and that He is the 
first-born from the dead [Col. I, 18], as He is life 
and life-giver inasmuch as He is God." 6 

2 Cfr. Pohle-Preuss, The Divine Verbum possum came et crucifixum 
Trinity, pp. 117 sq. came et mortem came gustasse, 

3 About A. D. 476. factumque primogenitum ex mor- 

4 A. D. 536. tuis, secundum quod vita est et 

5 Bardenhewer-Shahan, Patrology, vivificator ut Deus, anathema sit," 
p. 533. Cfr. Denzinger-Bannwart, Enchiri- 

6 "Si quis non confitetur, Dei dion, n. 124. 


Carefully distinguishing between passibility and passion 
the Decretum pro lacobitis of Eugene IV, adopted by the 
Council of Florence, A. D. 1439, defined : " Deus et homo, 
Dei Filius et hominis filius, . . . immortalis et aeternus 
ex natura divinitatis, passibilis et temporalis ex condi- 
tione assumptae humanitatis. Firmiter credit [Ecclesia], 
. . . Dei Filium in assumpta humanitate ex Virgine vere 
natum, vere possum, vere mortuum et sepultum God 
and man, Son of God and son of man, . . . immortal and 
eternal by virtue of [His] Divinity, capable of suffering 
and temporal by virtue of [His] assumed manhood. 
The Church firmly believes . . . that the Son of God 
in [His] assumed humanity was truly born of the Vir 
gin ; that He truly suffered, died, and was buried." 7 
Though these and other ecclesiastical definitions profess 
edly deal only with our Saviour s liability to suffering and 
death, they plainly include, at least by implication, the 
psychical affections which are the common lot of all men, 
and which necessarily accompany suffering and death. 
It is impossible to conceive of a genuine human soul 
devoid of spiritual and sensitive affections, or even of 
actual bodily suffering, without a corresponding affliction 
of the soul. 

TION. The heretical doctrine that Christ was 
incapable of suffering is manifestly repugnant to 
Holy Scripture and Tradition. 

a) One need but open the Gospels at almost 
any page to be convinced that, in His human na- 

7 Cfr. Denzinger-Bannwart, Enchiridion, n. 708. 


ture, Christ was subject both to the ordinary 
infirmities of the body and the human affections 
of the soul. 

The story of His life confirms and completes the 
prophetic picture of the " man of sorrows " painted by 
Isaias. 8 He " was hungry " 9 and " thirsted." 10 He was 
" wearied " 1X and fell " asleep." 12 He shed His blood 
and died. On many occasions He manifested distinctly 
human emotions. Standing before the tomb of His 
friend Lazarus, for example, He " groaned in the spirit 
and troubled himself . . . and . . . wept." 13 Finding in 
the temple " them that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and 
the changers of money," He, who was ordinarily so 
meek, became inflamed with holy anger and drove them 
out with a scourge. 14 His eyes rested with tender regard 
on the pious youth who was able to say that he had ob 
served the commandments of God from his boyhood. 15 
He rejoiced 16 and sorrowed, 17 He marvelled 18 and was 
oppressed with fear and heaviness. 19 

St. Paul explains the reason for all this in Heb. II, 16 
sq. : " Nusquam enim angelos apprehendit, sed semen 
Abrahae apprehendit; unde debuit per omnia fratribus 
similarly ut misericors fieret et fidelis pontifex ad Deum, 
ut repropitiaret delicta populi 21 For nowhere doth he 
take hold of the angels : but of the seed of Abraham he 
taketh hold. Wherefore it behooved him in all things 

8 Is. LIU, 3 sqq. 16 John XI, 15. 

9 Matth. IV, 2. 17 Matth. XXVI, 37 sq. 

10 John XIX, 28. 18 Matth. VIII, 10. 

11 John IV, 6. 19 Mark XIV, 33: " Et coepit 

12 Matth. VIII, 24. pavere et taedere (eK0a/u,/3etcr0cu 

13 John XI, 33 sqq. /cai aSijiMvelv)" 

14 John II, 15. 20 K ara iravra TOIS d5eX0ofs 

15 Mark X, 21: 6 5e Irjffovs 6/j.oiu6ijvai. 

e/i/3Xe^as avrui ^yaTnjffev avrov. 21 e is rb JXd<r/ceor0cu ras d/aap- 

ri as TOV Xaoii 


to be made like unto his brethren, that he might become 
a merciful and faithful high priest before God, that he 
might be a propitiation for the sins of the people." 

b) The Patristic teaching on this point agrees 
with that of Sacred Scripture in every detail, 
except that the Fathers formally exclude from the 
human nature of Christ all physical and moral de 
fects, which Holy Scripture does rather by im 

a) St. Ambrose says that Christ must have felt and 
acted like a man because He possessed a human nature : 
" Unde valde eos errare res indicat, qui carnem hominis 
a Christo aiunt esse susceptam, affectum [auteni] ne- 
gant, . . . qui hominem ex homine tollunt, quum homo 
sine affectu hominis esse non possit." 22 St. Leo the Great 
points out that the hypostatic Union of the two natures 
in Christ postulates the co-existence of contrary proper 
ties : " Impassibilis Deus non dedignatus est esse homo 
passibilis, et immortalis mortis legibus subiacere." 23 

/?) The only dissenting voice is that of St. Hilary 
(d. 366), who in his principal work, De Trinitate, writ 
ten for the purpose of defining and scientifically estab 
lishing the Christological teaching of the Church against 
Arianism, 24 seems to have taught that Jesus was abso 
lutely insensible to pain and suffering. St. Hilary was 
accused of heresy by Claudianus Mamertus (d. about 

22 In Ps., 61, n. 5. tate] is a sustained and intensely 

23 Serm., 22, c. 2. Cfr. St. Au- enthusiastic plea for the faith of 
gustine, De Civit. Dei, XIV, 9, 3. the Church. In the domain of early 

24 Cfr. Bardenhewer-Shahan, Pa- ecclesiastical literature it is certainly 
trology, pp. 404 sq. " The entire the most imposing of all the works 
work [Hilary s treatise De Trini- written against Arianism." 


474), 25 and the charge was repeated by Berengar and 
Baronius. Erasmus did not scruple to reckon Hilary 
among the Docetse, and a recent writer, Dom Lawrence 
Janssens, O.S.B., who has subjected the text to careful 
scrutiny, arrives at practically the same conclusion. 26 
The vast majority of Catholic divines, however, headed 
by Peter Lombard, 27 defend St. Hilary against the charge 
of heresy and interpret his writings in accordance with 
the orthodox teaching of the Church. There is a third 
group of theologians, chief among them William of Paris 
and Petavius, 28 who hold that St. Hilary s original teach 
ing, in his work De Trinitate, was false, but that he tacitly 
retracted it in his Commentary on the Psalms. 

The objections to St. Hilary s teaching seem to us to 
rest on hermeneutical rather than dogmatic grounds. 
The supposition that he retracted his previous teaching 
in his Commentary on the Psalms is altogether gratui 
tous. It will be far juster to interpret the ambiguous 
phrases in his work De Trinitate in the light of certain 
perfectly orthodox expressions which occur in the Trac- 
tatus super Psalmos. Had Hilary believed that the 
human nature of Christ was absolutely insensible to 
pain and suffering, he would surely not have written: 
" Hunc igitur ita a Deo percussum persecuti sunt, super 
dolorem vulnerum dolorem persecutions huius addentes; 
pro nobis enim secundum Prophetam dolet." 29 

25 " Nihil doloris Christum in pas- His example was followed by St. 

sione sensisse," was the way in Bonaventure (m h. /.), St. Thomas 

which he formulated Hilary s teach- Aquinas (in h. /.), the Maurist Cou- 

ing. (De Statu Animae, II, 9.) stant (Opp. S. Hilarii, Praef., sect. 

2Q"Mentem S. Hilarii ab Aph- 4, 3, n. 98 sqq.), and lately Sten- 

thartodocetarum excessu non tanto- trup (Christologia, I, thes. 56). 

pere distare." (Christologia, p. 552, 28 Cfr. De Incarn., X, 5. 

Friburgi 1901.) 29 In Ps., 68, n. 23. Cfr. In Ps., 

27 Liber Sent., Ill, dist. 15 sq. 53, n. 4-7; 54, n. 6. 


How, then, are we to interpret the incriminated passages 
in the treatise De Trinitate? Let us examine the text. 
It reads as follows (X, n. 13) : "Homo lesus Christus, 
unigenitus Deus, per carnem et Verbum ut hominis nlius 
ita et Dei Filius, hominem verum secundum similitu- 
dinem nostri hominis, non deficient a se Deo sumpsit; in 
quo quamvis ictus incideret aut vulnus descenderet out 
nodi concurrerent aut suspensio elevaret, afferrent qui- 
dem haec impetum passionis, non tamen dolorem pas- 
sionis inferrent. . . . Passus quidem est Dominus lesus, 
dum caeditur, . . . dum moritur; sed in corpus Domini 
irruens passio nee non fuit passio nee tamen naturam 
passionis exseruit, dum . . . virtus corporis sine sensu 
poenae vim poenae in se desaevientis excepit. . . . Caro 
ilia, id est panis ille de coeiis est; et homo ille de Deo 
est, habens ad patiendum quidem corpus et passus est, 
sed naturam non habens ad dolendum. Naturae enim 
propriae ac suae corpus illud est, quod in coelestem 
gloriam conformatur in monte, quod attactu suo fugat 
febres, quod de sputo suo format oculos." 

The orthodoxy of these equivocal and awkward 
phrases has been defended on a twofold plea. Some 
have contended that St. Hilary, in speaking of " Christ," 
meant the " Person of Christ," i. e., the Divine Logos, 
and that, consequently, in referring to the " nature of 
Christ " he had in mind the " nature of the Logos," i. e., 
Christ s Divinity, which in matter of fact can be subject 
neither to " dolor passionis " nor " sensus poenae." 
Others have attempted to solve the difficulty by pointing 
out that St. Hilary s controversial attitude against the 
Arians led him to insist on the Divinity of Christ so 
vigorously as to accentuate unduly the a-priori excellence 
of His humanity and its special prerogatives over or- 


dinary human nature. 30 According to the first theory, 
the passage : " Virtus corporis sine sensu poenae vim 
poenae excepii" would convey the perfectly orthodox 
meaning : " Virtus divina corporis [i. e., Verbum ex- 
istens in corpore] sine sensu poenae fuit." The phrase 
" naturam non habens ad dolendum " would likewise be 
unexceptionable if natura were taken in the sense of 
natura divina. With regard to the second theory we 
may remark : St. Hilary undoubtedly teaches that there 
is an important difference between the sacred humanity 
of Christ and the ordinary human nature common to 
all men by virtue of their descent from Adam. He 
holds that the human nature of our Lord was different 
from, and superior to, ordinary human nature, and he 
attributes this difference to Christ s miraculous gener 
ation " from the Holy Ghost and the Virgin." 31 While 
he fully admits the reality and passibility of Christ s 
manhood, St. Hilary asserts the existence of a threefold 
essential difference between the Godman and all other 
human beings, viz.: (i) It was impossible for Christ to 
be overcome by bodily pain, (2) He was under no obliga 
tion to suffer, and (3) His suffering did not partake of 
the nature of punishment. 32 

In the light of these considerations it cannot be truth 
fully asserted that St. Hilary sacrificed the dogma of the 
passibility to his exalted conception of the majesty of 
the Godman. We must, however, admit that he did not 
succeed in finding the right via media between the doc- 

30 This peculiarity can be traced lanus] removere a Christ o dolorem, 
also in his other writings. sed tria quae sunt circa dolorem: 

31 De Trinit., X, 15, 18. I. dominium doloris, . . . 2. meri- 

32 Cfr. St. Thomas, Commentum turn doloris, ... 3. necessitatem 
in Quatuor Libras Sent., Ill, dist. doloris . . . Et secundum hoc sol- 
15: " Solutio Magistri consistit in vuntur tria difficilia, quae in verbis 
hoc, quod simpliciter noluit [S. Hi- eius videntur esse." 


trine of the Arians on the one hand and that of the 
Aphtha rtodocetse on the other, and that he failed to give 
due emphasis to the Scriptural and ecclesiastical teach 
ing with regard to the nature and extent of our Lord s 
capacity for suffering. Thus, while he certainly erred, 
he may be said to have erred on a minor point. He 
had before him the ideal Christ, as He might have ap 
peared among men, in the full consciousness of His 
divine dignity and without any obligation to suffer. The 
historic Christ of the Gospels, whose Divinity he was 
called upon to defend, against powerful and sagacious 
foes, St. Hilary manifestly overrated. His theory may 
be briefly stated thus : The entire life and suffering of 
our Lord was a continued miracle. It was as if the 
suppressed energy of the Divine Logos were constantly 
seeking an outlet. The passibility which duty and ne 
cessity imposed on Jesus Christ became actual passion 
only by dint of His unceasing consent. His capacity 
for suffering was abnormal, unnatural, miraculous. The 
normal condition of His sacred humanity manifested 
itself when he walked upon the waters, when he 
penetrated locked doors, when He was transfigured 
on Mount Tabor, and so forth. 33 This sublime con 
ception of Christ led St. Hilary to lose sight of the 
soteriological character of His mission. The Incarna 
tion of the Son of God was dictated by practical reasons 
and required for its consummation a painful atonement 
which involved His death on the cross. The passibility 
of Christ must, therefore, be held to be wholly natural 
and spontaneous. A supernatural or artificial passi 
bility, based upon an unbroken chain of miracles, could 
not have accomplished the purposes of the Redemption. 

33 Cfr. St. Hilary, De Trinit., X, 23, 35. 


Bardenhewer can scarcely be accused of undue severity 
when he says that the teaching of St. Hilary "makes 
a very sharp turn around the headland of Docetism." 34 

BILITY. In view of the express teaching of 
Sacred Scripture and the Church, Catholic the 
ologians circumscribe the dogma of Christ s pas- 
sibility with certain well-defined limitations, by 
excluding from His human nature all those de 
fects of body and soul which would have been 
unbecoming to a Godman. They draw a sharp 
distinction between passiones universales sive 
irreprehensibiles^ i. e., defects which flow from 
human nature as such, and passiones particulares 
sive reprehensibiles which are due to particular 
or accidental causes. 

Passiones universales are, for instance, hunger and 
thirst, fatigue and worry, pain and mortality, joy 
and sorrow, fear and disgust, hope and love. The pas 
siones or defectus particulares are partly of the body, 
such as malformation, deafness, blindness, leprosy, and 
consumption; and partly of the soul, such as feeble 
mindedness, idiocy, revengefulness, and concupiscence. 37 

34 Bardenhewer-Shahan, Patrol- defectus siint, qui . . . causantur in 
ogy, p. 410. Cfr. A. Beck, Die aliquibus hominibus ex quibusdam 
Trinitdtslehre des hi. Hilarius von particularibus causis, sicut lepra ei 
Poitiers, Mainz 1903; IDEM, Kirch- morbus caducus et alia kuiusmodi, 
liche Studien und Quellen, pp. 82 qui quidem defectus quandoque cau- 
sqq., Amberg 1903. santur ex culpa hominis, puta ex in- 

35 Tradr) d5id/3\7jTa. or din at o victu, quandoque autem ex 

36 -rrdOri did8\i)TQ, defectu virtutis formativae: quorum 

37 Cfr. St. Thomas, 5". Theol., 33, neutrum convenit Christo, quia et 
qu. 14, art. 4: " Quidam autem caro eius de Spiritu S. concepta 


As the body of Christ was exempt from all so-called 
natural defects, so His soul must have been immune 
from those psychic defects which arise from, or have any 
connection with, sin. That is to say, our Divine Re 
deemer was not only absolutely exempt from every sinful 
affection, such as concupiscence, excessive anger, etc. ; 
but He was at all times completely master of His 
soul. No unfree motus primo-primi, not to speak of 
other soul-affections, were able to surprise or overpower 
Him. St. Jerome expresses this truth in a phrase which 
has become technical : " The soul of Christ knew no 
passion es (irdOr) in the strict sense of the term) but only 
TrpoTrdOeiai, propasswues" 38 Since, however, the term 
passio in the writings of the Fathers is sometimes ap 
plied to the Godman, its use cannot be said to be ob 
jectionable. 39 

The Scriptural and Patristic texts already given 40 
leave no doubt that Christ actually assumed the ordinary 
defects and affections of human nature. Regarding the 
diseases and weaknesses of the body in particular, St. 
Thomas gives three reasons why it was proper that the 
Saviour should share them. The first is that He came 
into the world to make satisfaction for the sins of men ; 
the second, that without these defects there would have 
been room to doubt the genuinity of His human nature ; 
and the third, in order to give us an example of pa- 

est . . . et ipse nihil inordinatum (Cfr. St. Thorn., S. TheoL, 33, qu. 

in regimine vitae suae exercuit." 15, art. 7, ad i). 

38 Cfr. St. Jerome, In Matth., 5, 39 Cfr. De Lugo, De Incarn., 

28: "Inter TrdOos et Trpo-rrddetav, disp. 22, sect, i, sub fin. St. John 

i. e. inter passionem et propas- of Damascus, e. g., says : " Chris- 

sionem, hoc interest, quod passio turn omnes naturales et minime re- 

rcputatur in vitium." In Matth., 26, prehensibiles passiones hominis as- 

37: " Ne passio in animo illius do- sumpsisse." (De Fide Orth., Ill, 

minaretur, per propassionem coepit 20.) 

contristari; aliud est enim contri- 40 Supra, pp. 74 sqq, 
start et aliud incipere contristari." 


tience. 41 In fallen man these defects are punishments 
for sin. Not so in Christ, who was absolutely free from 
guilt. This truth is technically expressed in the phrase : 
" He assumed poenalitates which involved no guilt." 

The foregoing explanation will enable the stu 
dent to form a correct opinion regarding the 
merits of the famous controversy which arose 
during the lifetime of St. Bernard of Clairvaux 
between the Premonstratensian Abbot Philip 
of Harvengt 42 and a certain Canon named John. 

John correctly denned the passibility of our Divine 
Saviour as spontaneous and natural, though voluntarily 
assumed, whereas Philip, on what he believed to be the 
authority of St. Hilary, 43 held that impassibility was 
the normal condition of the Godman, and His actual 
surrender to weakness and suffering must be explained 
by a series of miracles. It was in fasting for a period 
of forty days, in walking upon the waters, and by 
other similar miracles, according to Philip s theory, 
that Christ manifested His normal nature ; the hun 
ger He is reported to have felt after His fast, 44 and His 
ordinary dependence upon the law of gravitation were 
wholly abnormal and miraculous phenomena. But this 
theory is opposed to the plain words of St. Paul 45 and 

41 S 1 . TheoL, 3a, qu. 14, art. i. 33., col. 187 sq., Innsbruck 1906. 

42 (+1183). He is also called Cfr. also Berliere, Philippe de Har- 
Philippus Bonae Spei, from his ab- vengt, Bruges 1892. 

bey of Bonne Esperance in the 43 Cfr. supra, pp. 76 sqq. 

Hennegau. For a short sketch of 44 Cfr. Matth. IV, 2 : " postea 

his life and a list of his writings esuriit." 

see Hurter, Nomenclator Literarius 45 Cfr. Heb. II, 17; IV, 15. 
Theologiae Catholicae, vol. II, ed. 

8 4 


to the express teaching of the Church and the Fathers. 46 
That these natural defects were voluntarily assumed did 
not make them unreal or unnatural, because their as 
sumption was coincident with the moment of Christ s 
voluntary Incarnation, 47 which implied His passion, and 
consequently also passibility for the sublime purpose of 
the atonement. 48 

READINGS : St. Thomas, S. Theol, 3a, qu. 14, 15. G. Patiss, 
S. J., Das Leiden unseres Herrn Jesu Christi nach der Lehre 
des hi. Thomas, Ratisbon 1883. * J. Rappenhoner, Die Korper- 
leiden und Gemutsbewegungen Christi, Diisseldorf 1878. Fr. 
Schmid, Quaestiones Selectae ex Theologia Dogmatica, qu. 6, 
Paderborn 1891. G. A. Miiller, Die leibliche Gestalt Jesu Christi, 
Graz 1909. 

46 Cfr. St. Athanasius, De Incarn. 
Verbi (Migne, P. G., XXV, 132): 
" Pro corporis proprietate esurivit." 
St. Augustine, De Pecc. Mer, et 
Rein., II, 29: " Inasmuch as in Him 
there was the likeness of sinful 
flesh, He willed to pass through the 
changes of the various stages of life, 
beginning even with infancy, so that 
it would seem as if that flesh of 
His might have arrived at death by 
the gradual approach of old age, if 
He had not been killed when a 

young man." Hence the conciliar 
phrase: " Passibilis ex conditions 
assumptae humanitatis." 

47 Cfr. Heb. X, 5 sqq. 

48 Cfr. Phil. II, 7: " Semetipsum 
exinanivit, . . . et habitu inventus 
ut homo Christ . . . emptied him 
self, . . . being made in the like 
ness of men." On the Aphthartodo- 
cetae consult J. P. Junglas, Leon- 
tius von By sans, pp. 100 sqq., Pa 
derborn 1908. 



We have shown that there are in Christ two 
natures, a divine and a human. How are these 
natures united ? 

Ordinarily there are two species of unity, i. e., two 
modes by which separate substances can be united 
into one. The first, called accidental (unitas acciden- 
talis), is that by which two substances loosely coexist, 
as, e. g., wine and water poured into the same cup. 
The second, called substantial unity (unitas substan- 
tialis), is that by which two substances combine so as 
to constitute a third, which is identical with neither of 
the two components but forms an entirely new substance. 
Thus man results from the union of body and soul, 
water from a combination of oxygen and hydrogen. 
Moral unity (unitas moralis) is a subdivision of acci 
dental unity and obtains chiefly between rational beings, 
e. g,, between Christ and the faithful who receive Him 
in the Blessed Eucharist, between God and the elect 
endowed with the beatific vision, etc. Opposed to moral 
is physical, which necessarily involves substantial unity. 

Both reason and experience tell us that two finite 
substances can be combined into a new substance only 



by losing each its own proper self-existence. It is in this 
manner that soul and body unite in forming man. 

The case is different with our Divine Saviour. In 
Him Divinity and humanity enter into a peculiar kind of 
physical and substantial union, in which neither loses its 
substantial existence. The Divine Logos simply possesses 
both natures without commingling or blending them to 
gether the divine per modum identitatis realis, the 
human per modum unitionis. This peculiar kind of phys 
ical and substantial union, concerning which we have no 
knowledge other than that derived from Divine Revela 
tion, is technically called hypostatic (unitas hypostatica), 
in contradistinction to a purely natural or a merely acci 
dental or moral union. 

The exceptional rank which this "unity in duality" 
holds among the different species of substantial unity 
leads us to expect that it should be subject to extraor 
dinary determinations and productive of peculiar and 
unique effects. This is indeed the case, as we shall show 
in explaining (i) the Hypostatic Union as such, and (2) 
its effects. 



We shall base our exposition of the Hypostatic Union 
on the decrees of the Fourth General Council of Chal- 
cedon (A. D. 451). Its definition of the dogma is more 
explicit even than that of the Third Ecumenical Council 
of Ephesus (A. D. 431), which is generally utilized for 
this purpose. 

Here is the canon of Chalcedon : " Sequentes igitur s. 
Patres, unum eundemque confiteri F ilium et Dominum 
nostrum lesum Christum consonanter omnes docemus, 
unum eundemque Christum F ilium Dominum uni- 
genitum, in duabus naturis inconfuse, immutabiliter, in- 
divise, inseparabiliter agnoscendum? nusquam sublatd 
differentia naturarum propter unitionem magisque salvd 
proprietate utriusque naturae, et in unam personam 
atque subsistentiam concurrcnte? non in duas personas 
partitum aut divisum, sed unum eundemque Filium et 
unigenitum Deum Verbum Dominum lesum Christum 3 
_ Following, therefore, the holy Fathers, we confess one 
and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and we do 
with one voice teach one and the same Christ, Son, 
Lord, Only-Begotten, acknowledged to be in two na- 

i Ev Svo Qiiataiv [aliter: IK 8i5o 2 Kai els I? irpoauirov KO.I iav 

tivvewv on this incorrect reading MarOiffiv ffvvrpexovff ns. 

cfr. Petavius, De Incarn., Ill, 6, n] 3 QUK ets dvo irp6ffa>va ftepl6- 

s drpeVTWs, dStaipe rws, l^evov r) diaipovpevov, d\V eVa Ka2 

Aoyov Kvpiov Irjaovv 


tures, without confusion, change, division, separation; 
the distinction of natures being by no means destroyed 
by their union ; but rather the distinction of each nature 
being preserved and concurring in one Person and one 
Hypostasis; not in something that is parted or divided 
into two persons, but in one and the same and Only- 
Begotten Son, God the Word, the Lord Jesus Christ." * 
A careful analysis of this dogmatic definition shows 
that the Hypostatic Union may be regarded either (i) 
as the personal unity of Christ in two natures, or (2) as 
a union of two natures which remain distinct; this union 
may again be regarded (3) as absolutely inseparable. 

GENERAL READINGS : * St. Thomas Aquinas, 6*. Theol., 3a, 
qu. 2-15, and the Commentators. C. von Schatzler, Das Dogma 
von der Menschwerdung des Sohnes Gottes, 3 sqq., Freiburg 
1870. * Scheeben, Dogmatik, Vol. II, 215-227, Freiburg 1878 
(summarized in Wilhelm-Scannell, A Manual of Catholic The 
ology, Vol. II, pp. 70 sqq., 2nd ed., London 1901). * Card. Fran- 
zelin, De Verbo Incarnato, thes. 16-40, Rome 1893. Oswald, 
Christologie, 5-6, Paderborn 1887. * Stentrup, Christologia, 
Vol. I, thes. 16-38, Innsbruck 1882. * Maranus, De Divinitate 
Christi, etc., Wiirzburg 1859. 

On the teaching of the Fathers see * Petavius, De Incarnatione, 
III-IX, Antwerp 1700. >* Schwane, Dogmengeschichte, Vol. II, 
2nd ed., 29-51, Freiburg 1895. J. Tixeront, History of Dogmas, 
English tr., Vol. I, St. Louis 1910; Vol. II, 1914; Vol. Ill, 1916. 

4 Denzinger-Bannwart, Enchiridion, n. 148. 





Nestorian heresy, which denied the personal unity 
of Christ, grew out of the Christological teaching 
of Diodorus of Tarsus 1 and Theodore of Mop- 
suestia, who has been called a "Nestorius before 
Nestorius." 2 Nestorianism was anathematized 
by the Third Ecumenical Council held at Ephe- 
sus, A. D. 431. Among its most prominent 
champions were Theodoret of Cyrus and Ibas 
of Edessa, whose writings, together with certain 
excerpts from the works of Theodore of Mop- 
suestia, were condemned by the Fifth Ecumen 
ical Council of Constantinople (A. D. 553) under 
the name of the Three Chapters. 3 

1 Died about 394. On Diodorus Bardenhewer-Shahan, Patrology, pp. 
see Bardenhewer-Shahan, Patrology, 318 sqq. 

pp. 3x5 S qq. 3 Cfr. Leveque, Etude sur le Pape 

2 Theodore of Mopsuestia, a dis- Virgile, Paris 1887; W. H. Hutton, 
ciple of Diodorus, died about the The Church of the Sixth Century, 
year 428. An account of his life London 1897. 

and teachings will be found in 



a) Nestorius was a Syrian by birth and became 
Patriarch of Constantinople in 428. In this position he 
at once began to disseminate with great obstinacy the 
Christological heresies of his master Theodore. These 
heretical teachings may be summarized as follows : ( I ) 
Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of Mary, is a different per 
son from the Divine Logos or Son of God. As there 
are in Christ two different and distinct natures, so there 
are in Him also two different and distinct persons, one 
divine, the other human. (2) These two persons are, 
however, most intimately united, the Logos or Son of 
God indwelling in the man Jesus as in a temple. The 
man Jesus by this indwelling of the Logos becomes 
a " God-bearer " (deifer, Oeo(f>opo<s) , or God in a figurative 
sense, like as Moses was called " the god of Pharao." 
(3) It follows that the Divine Logos is united with the 
man Jesus not by way of a physical union (eVwo-is ^ixn/c^ 
KaO vTToo-rao-ii/), but by a merely external, accidental, 
moral union (crwa<ia <Wo-t? o^en/cr/), and that, conse 
quently, the Incarnation must be defined, not as an as 
sumption of manhood by God, but simply as an indwelling 
of the Logos (eVoiKTjo-is) in the man Jesus. (4) It fol 
lows further that Mary is not the " Mother of God " 
(0OTo*os), but merely the mother of a man (avOpuiro- 
TO KOS), and should therefore properly be called Mother of 
Christ (xpwrroTOKos) ; the term " Mother of God " can 
be applied to her only in a metaphorical sense, inasmuch 
as she was 0eo8o xos, i- e., mother of the 0eo<opos. Nesto 
rius repeatedly referred to this synthesis of the Person 
of the Divine Logos with the human person of Christ as 
v Trpoauirov, but he meant one moral or juridical person 
composed of two different hypostases, as is apparent 


from the fact that he consistently rejected the term /ua 

{jTrocrracris. 4 

b) As St. Athanasius had defended the orthodox faith 
against Arianism, and as St. Augustine had stood forth 
as the champion of revealed truth against Pelagianism, 
so St. Cyril of Alexandria waged the Church s battle 
against the heresy of Nestorius. St. Cyril was a man 
of strong faith and extensive theological knowledge. 5 
" If we except Athanasius," observes Bardenhewer, 
" none of the other Greek Fathers exercised so far- 
reaching an influence on ecclesiastical doctrine as Cyril; 
and if we except Augustine, there is none among all 
the other Fathers whose works have been adopted so 
extensively by ecumenical councils as a standard ex 
pression of Christian faith." 8 As the champion of the 
true faith against the Nestorians, St. Cyril was com 
missioned by Pope Celestine I. to preside over the Third 
General Council of Ephesus, A. D. 431. His twelve 
anathematisms against Nestorius 7 were approved by that 
Council as " canonical," i. e., as articles of faith, and 
Nestorius himself was deposed and excommunicated. 
The word dcoroieo?, so vehemently opposed by the Nes- 
torian heretics, became the tessera of orthodoxy, and 
justly so, for it expresses the true doctrine regarding the 
Person of our divine Redeemer as pregnantly as the 
Nicene term 6/ioowiov expresses the true doctrine con 
cerning His Divinity. The first of St. Cyril s anathema- 

4 Cfr. Marius Mercator (Migne, 7 The reader will find the text (in 
P. L., XLVIII). On Nestorius Greek and Latin) of these anathe- 
life cfr. Nau, Nestorius, pp. v sqq., matisms in Alzog-Pabisch-Byrne, 
Paris 1910. On a new view of his Manual of Universal Church His- 
teaching, see Appendix, infra, pp. tory, Vol. I, pp. 596 sq., where 
296 sq. there is also a good account of the 

5 He died June 27, 444. Council of Ephesus. Cfr. Denzin- 

6 Bardenhewer-Shahan, Patrology, ger-Bannwart, Enchiridion, n. 113 
p. 362. sqq. 


tisms (or Canon i) reads: "5* quis non confitetur 
Deum esse veraciter Emmanuel et propterea Dei geni- 
tricem 8 sanctam Virginem: peperit enim secundum 
carnem carnem factum Dei Verbum? anathema sit If 
any one do not confess that Emmanuel is truly God and 
that, therefore, the Holy Virgin is the Mother of God: 
for she gave birth, according to the flesh, to the Word 
of God made flesh let him be anathema." The second 
anathematism (Canon 2), while it does not formally 
define the mode of union between the Logos and His 
manhood, describes it practically as hypostatic : " Si 
quis non confitetur, carni secundum subsistentiam 10 
unitum Dei Patris Verbum, unumque esse Christum cum 
propria carne, eundem sell. Deum simul et hominem, 11 
anathema sit If any one do not confess that the Word 
of God the Father is hypostatically united to the flesh, 
and that Christ is one with His own flesh, alike God and 
man, let him be anathema." The remaining ten anathe- 
matisms (or canons) condemn the Nestorian errors in de 

Though the term "Hypostatic Union/ as in 
fact the entire technical phraseology in which the 
Church couches her teaching on the union of the 
two natures in Christ, is not found in the Bible, 
the doctrine itself is undoubtedly Scriptural. 
This can be shown (a) by a general and (b) 
by a special argument. 

8 BeoroKOv. 10 K0.0 vwoffTCMTiv, i- e., hypo- 

9 capita ycyovora rbv IK Qcov statically. 

Aoyov, a rbv avrbv dyXovori Qfbv OJJLOV 


a) The general argument may be formulated 
thus. Sacred Scripture attributes to Christ two 
distinct series of predicates, the one divine, the 
other human. It represents Him to us both as 
true God 12 and true man. 13 Now the Christ 
who is true God is identical with the Christ who 
is true man. Consequently, both classes of attri 
butes belong equally to one and the same person, 
i. e., the Godman Jesus Christ. In other words, 
there are not two persons sharing the divine and 
the human attributes between them in such man 
ner that the divine attributes belong to the one, 
while the human attributes belong to the other; 
but one individual, namely, the Divine Person of 
the Logos or Son of God, is alike God and man, 
because He possesses both a divine and a human 
nature. Technically this truth is expressed in the 
proposition: Godhead and manhood are hypo- 
statically united in Christ. 

b) Of the many texts which can be adduced 
from Sacred Scripture in proof of this dogma we 
shall subject only one or two to an analysis from 
the Christological point of view. 

<*) The most pregnant sentence in the Gospels 
is undoubtedly John I, 14: "Et Verbum caro 
factum est <" Aoyo? aapg eyeWo And the 
Word was made flesh." Who is the subject of 
the predicate phrase: "was made flesh"? It is 

12 Cfr. supra, Part I, Chapter i. is Cfr. supra, Part I, Chapter 2. 


the "Logos," whom we have shown to be the 
Son of God, Himself true God, the Second Per 
son of the Divine Trinity. 14 This Logos was 
made flesh, i. e., became man. Consequently, the 
one Incarnate Logos is both God and man, and 
therefore Godman (0eavfyx>iro). 

And what is the meaning of the word eyeWo? A 
creature can " become " or " be made " (fieri aliquid) 
in a threefold sense, (i) It can simply begin to exist, 
as, e. g., " the world became," that is, it began to exist. 
(2) It may undergo a substantial change ; thus water was 
changed into wine at the wedding of Cana. (3) It 
may assume a new mode of being, over and above that 
which it already possesses. This new mode of being 
may be due either to an intrinsic quality, such as learn 
ing or sanctity ; or to a purely extrinsic relation, such as 
the generalship of an army. It is quite evident that the 
Incarnation of the Logos cannot be taken in either the 
first or the second of the above mentioned meanings. 
The notion of the divine, eternal, immutable Logos posi 
tively excludes a creatural beginning or any transub- 
stantiation of the Godhead into flesh, i. e., manhood. 
Hence the third meaning alone is the true one. It does 
not, however, do full justice to the mystery of the In 
carnation, because in a creature a new state or condition 
can never be a substance but is always necessarily an 
accident, whereas in the Divine Logos the assumption 
of manhood means a mode of being based upon sub 
stantial union, without exercising the slightest intrinsic 
effect upon the Logos Himself. To express the same 
truth in simpler terms : The union of the Logos with 

l4Cfr. Pohle-Preuss, The Divine Trinity, pp. 49 sqq. 


human nature results in one Divine Person possessing two 
distinct natures. This is what theologians call the Hy- 
postatic Union. 

/?) The teaching of St. Paul agrees with that 
of St. John. Witness the following passage 
from Phil. II, 6 sq. :".... qui quum in forma 
Dei 15 esset, non rapinam arbitratus est esse se 
aequalem Deo, 16 sed semetipsum exinanivit for- 
mam servi accipiens, 17 in similitudinem hominum 
factus et habitu inventus ut homo Who being 
in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be 
equal with God: but emptied himself, taking the 
form of a servant, being made in the likeness of 
men, and in habit found as man." The subject 
of this sentence is Christ. St. Paul asserts of 
Him: (i) That He was "in the form of God," 
which means that He was consubstantial with 
God, and therefore Himself God; 18 and (2) that 
He "took the form of a servant" and was in con 
sequence thereof "found as man." Here we 
have a clear assertion of the Incarnation of 
God, which, according to St. Paul, involves 
self-abasement (exinanitio, *eWis). In what 
sense are we to take exinanitio or kenosis? Does 
it mean that the Godhead annihilated itself, or 
that God ceased to be God? That would be in 
trinsically impossible, and, besides, verse n of 

15 kv fJ.op<f>fj Oeou. 1S Cfr. Pohle-Preuss, The Divine 

16 rb etj/cu icra Gew. Trinity, pp. 61 sq. 

17 /4op0rjj> SovXou 


the same chapter of St. Paul s Epistle to the 
Philippians reads : The Lord Jesus Christ is in 
the glory of God the Father/ 19 Consequently 
the phrase "God . . . emptied himself" can only 
mean that He who was God "took 20 the form of 
a servant," i. e., assumed human nature, inas 
much as the Son of God appeared among men 
not alone "in the form of God," but also in "the 
form of a servant" (human nature). It follows 
that, according to St. Paul s teaching, the two 
natures are in Christ combined in a Personal or 
Hypostatic Union. 21 

All the arguments which prove the Divinity 
of Christ likewise demonstrate the Hypostatic 
Union, because Holy Scripture declares that the 
man Jesus is true God. This could not be if 
Divinity and humanity were not united in Him 
as in one individual subject. In that case we 
should have to say with Nestorius: The man 
Jesus bears in His person the Godhead. 

The assertion of certain Modernists, that "the 
Christological teaching of SS. Paul and John, 
and of the councils of Nicaea, Ephesus, and 

19 Phil. II, ii. No. 19; F. J. Hall (an American 

ZOAccipiens, \ a p<av. Anglican divine), The Kenotic The- 

21 On the Kenosis see P. J. ory, New York 1898; A. Tanquerey, 

Toner, "The Modern Kenotic The- S. S., Synopsis Theol. Dogmat., II, 

ory," in the Irish Theological Quar- n . 116; M. Waldhauser, Die Kenose 

terly, Vol. I (1906), Nos. i and 2; und die moderne protestantische 

W. T. C. Sheppard, O. S. B., "The Christologie, Mainz 1912; F. Prat, 

Kenosis According to St. Luke," S. J., La Theologie de Saint Paul 

in the same review, Vol. V (1910), Vol. II, pp. 239 sqq., Paris 1912. 


Chalcedon does not represent Christ s own teach 
ing, but merely the upshot of philosophical specu 
lation," 22 cannot stand in the light of our Lord s 
self-assertion, 23 which substantially agrees with 
the doctrine of the Apostles, the Fathers, and 
the Councils. 

of the first four centuries (there is no need of 
extending the argument beyond 431) condemned 
the heresy of Nestorius before it was broached. 
To bring out their teaching effectively we shall 
consider it (a) as the simple testimony of Tradi 
tion, and (b) in its deeper speculative bearings. 

a) The ante-Ephesine Fathers testify to the 
traditional belief of Primitive Christianity in the 
dogma of the Hypostatic Union whenever, in 
their characteristic simple language, they ascribe 
divine attributes to the man Christ, or human 
attributes to the Divine Logos, and insist on the 
inseparable unity of Jesus against any and all at 
tempts to make it appear that there are two 
persons in Him. 

a) " Hypostatic Union " as a technical term is fore 
shadowed in the writings of the Fathers long before 

22 Cfr. H. P. Liddon, The Di- pp. 291 sqq., Paderborn 1911. The 

vinity of Our Lord and Saviour Christological teaching of St. Paul 

Jesus Christ, pp. 229 sqq., London, is exposed with great acumen and 

Oxford, and Cambridge 1867; H. very fully by Prat, La Thcologie de 

Felder, O. M. Cap., Jesus Christ us, Saint Paul, Vol. II. 
Apologie seiner Messianitat und 23 Cfr. Denzinger-Bannwart, En- 

Gottheit gegeniiber der neucsten un- chiridion, n. 2031. 
gldubigen Jesus-Forschung, Vol. I, 


Nestorius. Pre-eminent among the so-called Apostolic 
Fathers in this respect is St. Ignatius of Antioch (d. 
107), who says: "One is the physician, both bodily 
and spiritual [i. e. divine], begotten and unbegotten, 
God existing in the flesh, 24 both of Mary and of God, 
capable of suffering and yet impassible, Jesus Christ our 
Lord." 25 It was plainly on the supposition of the Hy- 
postatic Union that St. Melito of Sardes spoke of " God 
suffering at the hands of the Israelites." 26 

Of great importance is the teaching of St. Irenaeus of 
Lyons (d. 202), from which we extract four leading 
propositions. He declares : ( i ) That one and the same 
person is both God and man. "Si enim alter quidem 
passus est, alter autem impassibilis mansit, et alter qui 
dem natus est, alter vero in eum qui natus est descendit 
et rursus reliquit eum, non unus, sed duo monstrantur. 
. . . Unum autem eum, et qui natus est et qui passus 
est, novit apostolus: ipse est Verbum Dei, ipse unigenitus 
a Patre, Christus lesus Dominus noster." 2r Whence it 
follows (2) that God is man and the man Jesus is true 
God : " Verbum caro erit, Filius Dei films hominis . . . 
et hoc foetus quod et nos, Deus fortis est et inenarrabile 
habet genus." 2 * It follows further (3) that the Word 
Incarnate possesses human as well as divine attributes: 
" Verbum Dei suo sanguine nos redemit et in Eucharistia 
calicem suum sanguinem, panem suum corpus 29 confirma- 
vit." 30 And lastly (4) that the union of Godhead and 
manhood in Christ must be conceived as hypostatic. For, 
as Irenseus points out, St. John Himself refuted the 
" blasphemae regulae quae dividunt Dominum ex altera 

24 ej/ ffapKl yevopevos 6eos. 27 Adv. Haer., Ill, 16, 9. 

25/>. ad Eph., VII, 2. 28 Ibid., IV, 33, n. 

26 Fragm. 8 (Migne, P. G., V, 29 alfta tdiov, ffwfm ULOV. 

1221). 30 Ibid., V, 2, 2. 


et altera substantia [i. e. hypostasi] dicentes eum fac- 
tum." 31 

Substantially the doctrine of the Hypostatic Union 
was also taught by St. Gregory of Nazianzus. He writes : 
" If any one introduces two sons, the one of God the 
Father, and the other of the mother, but does not [ac 
knowledge them to be] one and the same, he shall forfeit 
the adoptive sonship which has been promised to those 
who have the true faith. For though there are two na 
tures, the divine and the human, there are not two 
sons." 32 

Among the older Latin writers the dogma of the Hy 
postatic Union was most concisely formulated by Tertul- 
lian. " Videmus duplicem statum [i. e. naturam] non 
confusum, sed coniunctum in una persona, Deum et 
hominem lesum." 33 

St. Ambrose has a beautiful passage on the Person 
of Christ : " Non enim alter ex Patre, alter ex virgine," 
he says, " sed idem aliter ex Patre, aliter ex virgine! 3 * 

Similarly St. Augustine : " Nunc vero ita inter Deum 
et homines mediator [Christus] apparuit, ut in unitate 
personae copulans utramque naturam et solita sublimaret 
insolitis et insolita solitis temperaret! 35 

As the above-quoted Patristic texts show, Irenaeus 
and Tertullian employed the later ecclesiastical formula 
"in unitate personae" (= Hypostatic Union) even be 
fore St. Augustine. Hippolytus 36 at least foreshadowed 

Si Ibid., Ill, 16, 6. Cfr. Franze- 34 De Incarn., V, 5. 

lin, De Incarn., thes. 18. 35 Ep., 137, III, 9 (Migne, P. L., 

32 Ep. ad Cledon., I. XXXIII, 519). Cfr. Petavius, De 

ssContr. Prax., c. 27. Cfr. J. F. Incarn., Ill, n; J. Schwetz, Theol. 

Bethune-Baker, " Tertullian s Use Dogmat., Vol. II, pp. 371 sqq., 

of Substantia, Natura, and Per- Vindobonae 1880. 

sona," in the Journal of TheoL 36 Died about the year 236. 

Studies, Vol. IV (1902-3), pp. 440 



it when, misconceiving the essence of the Most Holy 
Trinity, he said : " For neither was the Logos without 
His flesh 37 and in Himself the perfect only-begotten 
Son, although He was the perfect Logos, nor could the 
flesh subsist 38 apart from the Logos, because it had its 
subsistence 39 in the Logos." 40 

A most valuable witness is Epiphanius, 41 who in de 
veloping his " theory of the Incarnation " says : " The 
Logos has united body and spiritual soul in one unity and 
one spiritual Hypostasis." 42 The meaning of this prolep- 
tic expression is made clear by a famous parallel passage, 
which not only contains the significant term Woo-r^o-avra, 
but distinctly accentuates the absence of a human person 
ality in Christ. " We do not," writes Epiphanius, " intro 
duce two Christs or two kings and sons of God, but the 
same God and the same man. Not as if the Logos dwelled 
in the man, but because He wholly became man . . . the 
Word was made flesh. He does not say, The flesh be 
came God/ because he wished to emphasize above all 
things that the Logos descended from Heaven and took 
on flesh from the womb of the Blessed Virgin, 43 and 
in a most perfect manner incorporated into Himself a 
complete human nature." 44 

As witnesses to Primitive Tradition we may also regard 
those among the Fathers who employ the term vrrap^ 
as a synonym for WooTcun?. Thus St. Athanasius: 
" Unum esse Christum secundum indeficientem existen- 

37 &rap/cos. ej/wTTjra /cat fitav irvev/j.aTiKT]i> 

38 inroffrdvai inroffTacrtv- 

39 avffTCLffiv. 4S efs cavrbv dk viroar^ffavra 
lOContr. Noet., 15. TTJV ffdpKa. 

41 Died about 403. 44 reXei ws els eavrbv dvair\a- 

42 Haeres., 20, n. 4 (Migne, P. G., aapevov- Haer., 77, 29 (Migne, 
XLI, 277): ffvvevuffas els fj-iav 


tiam [i. e. subsistentiam] , 45 ut unus sit utrumque, perfec- 
tus secundum omnia Deus e t homo idem." 46 

No further proof is needed to show that the Fathers 
who flourished before the Third General Council, incul 
cated the doctrine of the Hypostatic Union and prepared 
the technical terminology subsequently adopted by the 

0) The argument from Tradition derives spe 
cial weight from the matter-of-fact references 
made by the Fathers to the ecclesiastical sym- 
bolum, which, because based upon the "Apostles 
Creed/ was regarded as the most powerful bul 
wark against Christological heresies. 47 

The Council of Ephesus (A. D. 431) refused to draw 
up a special symbolum against Nestorius 48 on the ex 
press ground that his heretical teaching was suffi 
ciently refuted by the Nicene Creed. In matter of fact 
the profession of faith in " the only-begotten Son of 
God, conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin 
Mary, crucified, dead, and buried " 49 embodies an over 
whelming argument for the personal unity of Christ, in 
asmuch as all these human predicates are attributed 
directly to the " Son of God," not to the man Jesus. 
While the Latin translations do not specially stress the 
" unity " of Christ, the Oriental creeds all, or nearly all, 

virapiv dve\nrij. 47 Cfr. Rufinus, Comment, in 

46 Contr. Apollin., I, 16 (Migne, Symbol., 3 sqq. 

P. G., XXVI, 1124). On Athana- 48 " Non esse fidem alter am con- 

sius rare use of the term Hypos- scribendam." Synod. Ephes. Act., 

tasis see Newman, Select Treatises VI. 

of St. Athanasius, Vol. II, p. 158, 49 Cfr. Denzinger-Bannwart, En- 

9th impression, London 1903. chiridion, n. i sqq. 


contain the typical locution : efc Ira Kvpiov 
a formula plainly directed against the oft-repeated at 
tempts, dating from the time of Cerinthus, to " dissolve " 
Jesus Christ into two different and distinct persons, vis.: 
the Son of God and the man Jesus in whom the Lo 
gos indwells. 50 In opposition to this heretical doctrine, 
as taught, e. g., by the Patripassionist Noe tus, the 
presbyters of Smyrna solemnly emphasized the teaching 
of their symbol: "Era Xpiarbv f.x^ v We have one 
Christ. St. Epiphanius, to whom we are indebted for 
our knowledge of this incident, 51 also reports the in 
structive fact that the Eastern bishops demanded of their 
catechumens an elaborate profession of faith in the uni- 
personality of Christ, thereby rejecting in advance the 
Nestorian as well as the Monophysite heresy. This 
creed contains such passages as the following : " We 
believe ... in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, 
begotten from God the Father, . . . who incorporated 
in a sacred union the flesh, not in some other man, but 
in Himself. 52 . . . For the Word was made flesh, not by 
undergoing a transformation, or by changing His Divinity 
into humanity. . . . For the Lord Jesus Christ is one 
and not two, the same God, the same King." 53 

b) A still better view of the primitive eccle 
siastical Tradition can be obtained from those pas 
sages of Patristic literature which professedly 
discuss and explain the dogma that there is but 
one person in Christ. 

50 Cfr. i John IV, 3 : " Et omnis 52 Js eavr&v ffdpita d.vair\6.- 

spiritus, qui solvit lesum, ex Deo ffavTd elf fjitav ayiav evor^ra. 

non est And every spirit that dis- 53 Epiph., Ancoratus, V, n. 12. 

solveth Jesus, is not of God." Cfr. Denzinger-Bannwart, Enchiri- 

61 Haer., 57. dion, n. 13. For a fuller discussion 


a) In voicing their firm belief in the Son of Mary 
as Son of God, and therefore true God, 54 not a few 
of the Fathers point out an absurd inference that flows 
inevitably from the teaching of Nestorius, to wit: If 
(as Nestorius alleged) there were two Hypostases in 
Christ, the Divine Trinity would consist of four Per 
sons. Thus the African Bishops, including St. Augus 
tine, compelled the Gallic monk Leporius, who, besides 
propagating the Pelagian heresy, was also a precursor of 
Nestorianism, to abjure the doctrine of a twofold per 
sonality in Christ on the ground that it would introduce 
a fourth person into the Trinity. 55 

(3) It was quite natural for the Fathers to seek out 
points of similarity between Christ the Godman and the 
Blessed Trinity. In developing these analogies, several 
Patristic writers describe the relation between nature 
and person in Christ as the opposite of that existing be 
tween the Godhead and the Three Divine Hypostases. In 
the Trinity, they say, there are " three Hypostases (or 
Persons) in one absolute unity of nature," whereas in 
Christ there is " only one Hypostasis or Person as against 
two complete natures." The Council of Ephesus quoted 
St. Gregory Nazianzen 56 as follows: " Aliud quidem et 
aliud sunt ea, ex quibus Salvator, . . . non tamen alms 
et alius, absit. Ambo enim haec connexione 5T unum 
sunt, Deo nimirum humanitatem atque homine divinita- 

of this point consult Franzelin, De soli Deo demus, et seorsum quae 

Verbo Incarnato, thes. 17; Stentrup, sunt hominis soli homini reputemus, 

Christologia, Vol. I, thes. 12. quartam manifestissime inducimus 

54 V. supra, Part I, Chapter i. in Trinitate personam et de uno 

55 " Quartam se subintroducere in Filio Dei non unum, sed facere in- 
Trinitate personam." In his re- cipimus duos Christos." (Libell. 
tractation, composed about the year Emendat. ad Episc. Gall., n. 5.) 
418, Leporius declares: "Si ergo 50 St. Gregory of Nazianzus died 
ita hominem cum Deo natum esse about 390. 

dicamus, ut seorsum quae Dei sunt 57 <rvyKpdffei. 


tern suscipiente. 58 . . . Porro aliud et aliud dico, contra 
quam in Trinitate res habet: illic enim alius atque alius, 
ne personas confundamus, non autem aliud atque aliud, 
quoniam tria quoad divinitatem unum et idem sunt." 59 

y) The sarcastic objection of certain Pagan and Jew 
ish writers, that the Christians " adored a crucified man 
as divine " and " degraded the immutable God " to the 
leveFof a " mutable man born of a woman," was met by 
the Fathers with the declaration that Christ, born of the 
Virgin Mary, is not merely a man, but also true God, 
and that He is consequently both God and man by virtue 
of a miraculous and incomprehensible union. Pliny, in 
his well-known letter to the Emperor Trajan, says: 
" They [the Christians] confessed that they used to as 
semble together before dawn to say prayers to Christ as 
their God. 60 . . ." The notorious scoffer Lucian railed: 
" Their chief lawgiver [Christ] has persuaded them that 
they were all brethren, one of another, as soon as they 
had gone over, i. e., renounced the Greek gods and adored 
that crucified sophist and live according to his laws." 61 
The philosopher Celsus reproaches the Christians as fol 
lows : " God is good, beautiful, blessed, most magnificent 
and beautiful of form. But if he would descend to men, 
he must change Himself and become bad instead of good, 

58 Geou (ikv evavOpwirriffavTK, not necessarily mean a poem in 

dvOpwtrov de dewOevros. measure and verse, but could sig- 

69 Ep. ad Cledon., I* (Migne, P. nify a liturgical dialogue. Light- 

G., XXXVII, 179). Cfr. Franzelin, foot considers himself justified in 

De Verbo Incarnate, thes. 19. identifying with the liturgy of bap- 

60 ". . . essent soliti stato die tism the scene described by Pliny, 

ante lucem con-venire carmenque and Batiffol is inclined to adopt this 

Christo quasi deo dicere secum in- view. Cfr. P. Batiffol, The Cred- 

vicem." Ep., X, 97. (Text of ibility of the Gospel (Engl. tr. of 

Pliny s letter and of Trajan s re- "Orpheus" et I E vangile), pp. 31 sq., 

script in Kirch, Enchiridion Fan- London 1912. 

tium Hist. Eccl. Antiqu., Freiburg 61 De Morte Peregrini, 13. 
1910, pp. 18 sqq.) "Carmen" does 


ugly instead of beautiful, unhappy instead of happy, the 
worst instead of the best." 62 

By way of deepening and strengthening the ar 
gument from Tradition we will devote a few 
pages to an explanation of the various formulas 
employed by the Fathers before the Council of 
Ephesus, and by some of the later councils, to 
elucidate the dogma of the Hypostatic Union. 

a) One of the most popular of these formulas 
was the following: "Between (Christ s) di 
vinity and (His) humanity there exists a sub 
stantial, physical, natural union." 63 

This formula was not, of course, coined in the interest 
of Monophysitism, but merely to express the truth that 
the constituent elements of Christ (termini ex quibus, 
i. e., His Divinity and humanity) are substances, and that 
the result of their union (terminus qui) is a substantial, 

62 Quoted by Origen, Contr. Cel- is called, is a rough sketch, traced 

sum, IV, 14. On the arguments, in all probability by the hand of 

based upon the " Hypostatic Union," some pagan slave in one of the 

of Tertullian, Justin Martyr, Arno- earliest years of the third century 

bius, Origen, Lactantius, Cyril of of our era. Cfr. also H. P. Liddon, 

Alexandria (against Julian the The Divinity of Our Lord and Sa- 

Apostate), cfr. Maranus, De Di- viour Jesus Christ, pp. 593 sqq. ; 

vinit. lesu Christi, II, 2; III, 2-4. C. M. Kaufmann, Handbuch der 

On the caricature of the Cruci- christlichen Archaologie, pp. 254 

fixion discovered A. D. 1856 beneath sqq., Paderborn 1905; P. J. Chand- 

the ruins of the Palatine palace, lery, S. J., Pilgrim-Walks in Rome, 

(the figure on the cross bears an 2nd ed., p. 216, London 1905; H. 

ass s head, before which stands a Grisar, History of Rome and the 

Christian in the posture of adora- Popes, Vol. Ill, p. 71, London 1912. 
tion), see Garrucci, // Crocifisso 63 Unio substantialis, physica, se- 

Grafflto, Rome 1857. The "Graffito cundum naturam eVoxrts KO,T 

blasfemo," as this caricature of overlay, Kara <f)vai.v 7} <f>vffiKT] 

the adoration of our crucified Lord ovffiudr]s. 


physical unity. Thus Justin Martyr calls Christ Ao yov 
(jLop<f>w6tvTa KCU av6po)Trov yevo/Aevov, 64 meaning that the Logos 
assumed human nature after the manner of a substantial 
form. Gregory Nazianzen exclaims : "If any one says 
that the Godhead was operative in Him [Christ] as in 
a prophet in mode of grace, 65 but was not united with 
Him and does not unite with Him 68 substantially, 67 let 
him be devoid of every higher inspiration. . . . Let him 
who worships not the Crucified, be anathema." 8 St. 
John of Damascus, who was no doubt the most authorita 
tive interpreter of the teaching of the Greek Fathers, 
explains the true bearing of this formula against Mono- 
physitic misconstructions as follows : " We call it a 
substantial, 69 that is a true and not an apparent union. 
Substantial, not as if two natures had coalesced into one 
single, composite nature, but because they are united in 
the one composite Hypostasis of the Son of God." 70 

b) Another formulation of the same truth, 
and one which admitted of no misunderstanding, 
was "Verburn naturam humanam fecit suam pro- 
priam," i. e., The Logos made human nature en 
tirely His own. 

The meaning of this formula is thus explained by St. 
Cyril: " Sicut suum cuique nostrum corpus est pro- 
prwm, eodem modo etiam Unigeniti corpus proprium illi 
erat et non alterius." 71 St. Athanasius (d. 373) eluci 
dates it as follows : " Errant docentes, alium esse qui 

64 Apol., I, n. 5. On the Chris- 67 /car ovffiav. 
tology of St. Justin see Tixeront, 68 Ep. ad Cledon., I. 
History of Dogmas, Vol. I, pp. 222 6t* ovffiwdr). 

sq., St. Louis 1910. 70 De Fide Orth., Ill, 3. Cfr. 

65 KCLTO, "YO.OIV Petavius, De Incarn., Ill, 4. 
6 (rvvrj(f>6ai re /cat ffwdirTeffdai- 71 Contr. Nestor., I, i. 


passus est Filius, et alium qui passus non est; non est 
enim alius praeter ipsum Verbum quod mortem et pas- 
slonem suscepit. . . . Formam servi ipsum Verbum suam 
propriam fecit physicd generatione . . . et caro facta est 
secundum naturam propria Deo; non quasi caro consub- 
stantialis esset divinitati Verbi velut coaeterna, sed ei se 
cundum naturam propria- facta est et indivisa per unio- 

nem (tSia Kara <j>v<nv yevo/Atvr] /cat dStai/ocro? Kara evwcrtv) ex 
semine David et Abraham et Adam, ex quo et nos pro- 
geniti sumus. . . . Consubstantiale (o^oovmov) enim et 
impassibile et immortals cum consubstantiali non habet 
unitatem secundum hypostasin, sed secundum naturam, 
secundum hypostasin vero e.i hibet propriam perfec- 
tionem (r^Xf.ioTrira = totietatem in se). . . . Si Filium et 
Spiritum S. ita dicitis Patri consubstantialem sicut carnem 
passibilem, . . . vel inviti quaternitatem pro Trinitate in- 
ducitis, docentes carnem esse Trinitati consubstantia 
lem." 72 

This is a dogmatic locus classicus of prime importance. 
Its salient points may be paraphrased as follows: (i) 
The union of divinity and humanity is conceived after the 
manner of an intussusception of humanity by the Divine 
Logos, actively, by virtue of " physical generation from 
the seed of David and Abraham and Adam," 73 formally, 
by virtue of a "physical and inseparable union." (2} 
The " physical union " thus consummated does not, how 
ever, result in consubstantiality of the flesh with the God 
head (which would be Monophysitism), but is based on 
an " unitas secundum hypostasin," which attains its climax 
in the reAeioV^s and excludes the preposterous inference 
that there are in Christ two Sons, one who suffers, and an 
other who does not suffer. 74 (3) Disregard of this im- 

72 Contr. Apollin., I, 12 (Migne, 73 V. supra, p. 58 sq. 

P. G., XXVI, 1113). 74 V. supra, p. 97 sq. 



portant consideration would involve the error of Tetra- 
dism, which is destructive of the Trinity. 75 

This definition of the Hypostatic Union as an appro 
priation of humanity by the Logos accurately expresses 
the true meaning of the mystery of the Incarnation, and 
it need not surprise us, therefore, to find it in vogue 
even after the classic formula nnio secundum hypostasin 
had been definitively fixed by the Church. 76 

c) A third formula, employed almost exclu 
sively by St. Cyril, and found hardly anywhere 
before his time, reads: "Una natura Verbi in- 

CCLTnatd (/<* Averts row Aoyou crecrapKoo/AeV?/ ) . " 

Cardinal Newman explains this formula as follows : 
" i. (f>vm<s is the Divine Essence, substantial and per 
sonal, in the fulness of its attributes the One God. 
And, rov Aoyov being added, it is that One God, consid 
ered in the Person of the Son. 2. It is called /u a (i) 
because, even after the Incarnation, it and no other na 
ture is, strictly speaking, tSta, His own, the flesh being 
assumpta ; (2) because it, and no other, has been His 
from the first; and (3) because it has ever been one 
and the same, in nowise affected as to its perfection by 
the Incarnation. 3. It is called o-eo-a/a/cwjueV?/ in order to 
express the dependence, subordination, and restriction of 
His humanity, which (a) has neither ^ye^ovwcoV nor per 
sonality; (b) has no distinct WOT???, though it involved a 

75 V. supra, p. 103. such an important role at the Coun- 

76 It recurs in the numerous cil of Chalcedon (A. D. 451), and 
writings of St. Cyril, in the decrees especially in the decrees of the 
of the Council of Ephesus (Can. u, Sixth Ecumenical Council held at 
apud Denzinger-Bannwart, Enchiri- Constantinople, A. D. 680, against 
dion, n. 123), in the famous Epis- the Monothelites. (Cfr. Denzinger- 
tula Dogmatica ad Flavianum of Bannwart, Enchiridion, n. 291.) 
Pope Leo the Great, which played 


new yew-qms ; (c) is not possessed of the fulness of 
characteristics which attaches to any other specimen of 
our race. On which account, while it is recognized as 
a perfect nature, it may be spoken of as existing after 
the manner of an attribute rather than of a substantive 
being, which it really is, as in a parallel way Catholics 
speak of its presence in the Eucharist, though corporeal, 
being after the manner of a spirit." 77 

Theodoret asserts that this formula was consonant 
with the mode of conception and expression current in 
Alexandria, and for this very reason was impugned as 
Monophysitic by John of Antioch and others of the 
Antiochene school. Leontius of Byzantium tells another 
story. "You must know," he says, 78 "that St. Cyril 
was the first among the orthodox to employ the phrase, 
the one incarnate nature of the Divine Logos. We 
say, among the orthodox/ because Apollinaris often 
used the same formula, and for this reason the blessed 
Cyril was looked upon as an Apollinarist by the Orien 
tals. But he was not an Apollinarist. It is unfair to 
reject everything that the heretics say. We should re 
pudiate only that which is wrong." Had he foreseen 
the abuse to which this formula and his own authority 
were later on subjected by the Monophysites, Cyril would 
no doubt have couched his teaching in clearer terms. But 
in the sense in which he used it, and wished others to 
understand it, the formula /u a <u cn? (reaapKuplvrj was en 
tirely orthodox, and it was only by a gross misconstruc 
tion that the Monophysitic heretics were able to twist 
it in favor of their false teaching of a povt) <iW. 
St. Cyril used the phrase mainly against the Nestorian 

77 Newman, " On St. Cyril s For- cal, New Edition, London 1895, pp. 
mula 0iVts ataapKa^evri " in 380 sq. 
Tracts Theological and Ecclesiasti- 78 De Sectis, Act. 8. 


figment of " two independently subsisting natures," 
which would involve a dualism of persons in Christ. A 
fusion of both natures into one (/u a) <pvm<s was entirely 
foreign to his mind, as is evidenced by the addition of 
the word o-eo-apKo^eV??, to which he calls particular at 
tention in his Ep. 46 ad Succensurn, and also from the 
fact that in St. Cyril s mind natura Verbi was merely 
another term for Verbum subsistens in natura divina, 
i. e., the Divine Hypostasis of the Logos. Manifestly, 
therefore, by /uo, </>u an? o-eo-apKw/xev^ St. Cyril meant purely 
and solely the Incarnate Word. In the second place it 
must be noted that St. Cyril did not fail to defend the 
dogma of the inconfusion of both natures in Christ 
against his accusers and critics, who were numerous 
already during his lifetime. Thus he says in his Epi- 
stola ad Acac. Melit.: " Ea, ex quibus est unus Filius 
ac Dominus lesus Christus, consideratione complexi 
duas naturas dicimus unitas esse, post unitionem vero, 
utpote sublata iam divisione in duos, unam credimus esse 
Filii naturam, utpote unius, sed inhumanati et incarnati; 79 
quum vero Deus Verbum inhumanatus et incarnatus 
dicitur, procul abiiciatur conversionis suspicio; mansit 
enim, quod erat." It is not surprising, therefore (and 
this is the third point in our argument), that the for 
mula fua <u(jis (reaapK<Dfjivr) was upheld as orthodox by 
the various synods subsequently held against the Mono- 
phy sites. Thus the Fifth Ecumenical Council of Con 
stantinople (A. D. 553) defines: "Si quis . . . unam 
naturam Dei Verbi incarnatam dicens non sic has voces 
accipit, sicut Patres docuerunt, quod ex divina natura 
et humana, unitione secundum subsist entiam factd* unus 

79 /j,tav elvai Triarevofjiev TT\V rov so rijs ev&ffews KaO 

0eoi ^)Vffiv cjs et>6s TT\T)V ivav- y 


Christus foetus est, sed ex huiusmodi vocibus unam 
naturam svue substantiam deitatis et carnis Christi^ in 
troducer e conatur, talis anathema sit." 82 

d) A fourth formula expresses the truth that 
there is but one personality in Christ in these 
terms: "Duae naturae ratione tantum (Kara 

6ea>piav 9 vo^cret^ Sca/cpiVei ) dlStin gUUHtUT " 

Like the preceding formulas this one too was directed 
against the dualistic heresy of Nestorius, and therefore 
the Fathers who employed it, among them St. Cyril, can 
not reasonably be suspected of harboring Monophysitic 
errors. An authentic interpretation of the phrase ra 
tione tantum was furnished by the Fifth Ecumenical 
Council (A. D. 553) as follows: "Si quis . . . non 
tantumniodo contemplatione 83 differentiam eorum accipit, 
ex quibus et compositus est non inter empta proprietate 
propter unitatem (unus enim ex utraque et per unum 
utraque) sed propterea numero utitur, tamquam dimsas 
et proprid subsistentid consistentes naturas habeat, 8 * talis 
anathema sit." 85 How foreign the idea of identifying 
the two natures in Christ was to the Fathers and the 
councils that made use of this formula, is plain from 
the subjoined expression of Pope Agatho, which was 
read at the Sixth General Council of Constantinople, 

81 p.lav <)>v<nv f\roi oixriav. 1895; Petavius, De Incarnatione, 

82 Cfr. Denzinger-Bannwart, En- IV, 6 sqq. ; Franzelin, De Verbo 
chiridion, n. 220. Cfr. also the Lat- Incarnate, thes. 35; Stentrup, Chris- 
eran Council of 649, held under tologia, Vol. I, thes. 47; Janssens, 
Martin I (Denzinger-Bannwart, /. c., De Christ o-Homine, I, pp. 214 sqq. 
n. 258). For a more detailed dis- 83^ -j-fj OeupLa. /J.6vg. 

cussion of St. Cyril s formula and 84 &$ Ke^iapifffievas Kdl ISiovwo- 

its fortunes consult J. H. Newman, ffrdrovs %x ei T & s <pv<reis. 

Tracts Theological and Ecclesiasti- 85 Can. 7, apud Denzinger-Bann- 

cal, pp. 331 sqq., new ed., London wart, Enchiridion, n. 219. 


A. D. 680 : " Utramque naturam unius eiusdemque Dei 
Verbi incarnati, i. e. humanati, inconfuse, inseparabiliter, 
incommutabiliter esse cognovimus, sold intelligentid 86 
quae unita sunt discernentes . . .: aequaliter enim et 
divisionis [Nestorii] et commixtionis [Eutychetis] de- 
testamur errorem." 87 

e) A fifth formula, which was employed 
diiefly against Apollinaris, ran as follows: 
*Verbum assumpsit carnem mediant e anima" 88 

This formula expresses the dogma of the Hy- 
po,static Union in so far as it describes the 
Logos as "assuming" flesh animated by a ra 
tional soul (i. e., a true and complete human na 
ture), into the Divine Person. The Athanasian 
Creed enunciates the same truth in almost iden 
tical terms: "Who, although He is God and 
man, yet He is not two, but one Christ. One, not 
by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by 
taking of the manhood into God ; One altogether, 
not by confusion of substance, but by unity of 

f) The sixth formula is the classical one: 
"Unio naturarum hypostatica seu secundum hy- 
postasin (**& WoW/)," which has been gener 
ally received as a test and touchstone of Catholic 
belief since the Council of Chalcedon. It was 
framed against the errors of both Nestorianism 

86 H&VQ voriaei. 88 For an explanation of its mean- 

87 Hardouin, Coll. Cone., t. Ill, ing see supra, p. 57 sq. 
p. 1079. Cfr. Petavius, De Incar- 

natione, IV, 10; VI, 9. 


and Monophysitism. Against Nestorianism it 
upholds the physical and substantial, in contra 
distinction to a purely moral and accidental union 
of the two natures in Christ. Against Mono 
physitism it denies any fusion or mixture of the 
two natures. Hence the union between Godhead 
and manhood in Christ must be conceived as 
strictly personal or "hypostatic," i. e., not as a 
moral but as a physical union of person. 

The definitive fixation of the synodal term WoVrao-ts 
to denote the Person of Christ in contradistinction to 
His twofold ovaia or <f>vm<s, was the upshot of a lengthy 
process of development, in the course of which the word 
gradually changed its meaning. 89 Originally wrooraow 
denoted " substructure, foundation, mire, broth." 90 In 
course of time the term came to be applied metaphorically 
to the " subject-matter " of an address, narrative, or poem : 
and finally it was used to designate " reality " as opposed 
to " semblance " or " appearance." 91 Though the transi 
tion would seem to be simple and natural enough, we 

89 " Language . . . requires to be for their due enunciation; and since 
refashioned even for sciences which these were not definitely supplied 
are based on the senses and the rea- by Scripture or by tradition, nor, 
son; but much more will this be the for centuries by ecclesiastical au- 
case, when we are concerned with thority, variety in the use, and con- 
subject-matters, of which, in our fusion in the apprehension of them, 
present state, we cannot possibly were unavoidable in the interval." 
form any complete or consistent con- (Newman, The Arians of the Fourth 
ception, such as the Catholic doc- Century, pp. 433 sq., new ed., Lon- 
trines of the Trinity and Incarnation. don 1901). 

Since they are from the nature of 90 Cfr. Diod. Sicul., Bibliotheca, 

the case above our intellectual reach, XIII, 82; Aristot., Hist. Animal., 

and were unknown till the preach- II, i. 

ing of Christianity, they required 91 Cfr. Aristot., Mund., IV, 21: 

on their first promulgation new K aO viroaraatv KCtr %/J.<t>a<Tit>. 
words, or words used in new senses. 


have no evidence of wroorcwns being used in the sense 
of substantia prima (ovaia TT/OWT^), i. e. an individual. 92 
In the Epistles of St. Paul Woo-rao-is never occurs in the 
sense of " person " or " substance," but only in that of 
" foundation " or " basis," or at most, " essence." 93 Up 
to the Nicene Council Woo-rao-is in ecclesiastical usage 
was synonymous with ovo-ia. 9 * Even St. Augustine con 
fessed his ignorance of any difference in meaning between 
the two terms. 95 

But the vagaries of Trinitarian and Christological 
heretics soon made it imperative to draw a sharp dis 
tinction between substantia prima (ovaia Trpwrr/) and sub 
stantia secunda (ovaia Bevrepa). This led to the choice of 
wroorao-ts for substantia prima, with special emphasis upon 
the notes of inseitas and integritas, and particularly 
upon that of perseitas. Thus originated the technical 
term Hypostasis, which, when applied to rational beings, 
is equivalent to Person?* Nestorius no doubt attached 
the same technical meaning to the word Woorracns as 
we do to-day; else why should he have so stubbornly 
rejected the phrase /tua Woo-rao-ts, while he was quite 
willing to accept ev irpoau-jrov ? His opponent St. Cyril, 
however, was not so consistent in his use of the term; 
he repeatedly employs it as synonymous with <iW. 97 

92 " Those who taught the Greek 95 Cfr. De Trinitate, V, 8 : "I 

philosophy among the Greeks," ob- know not what difference they in- 

serves the church historian Socrates tend to put between ovcria and 

(Hist. Eccles., Ill, 7), "have de- viroffraffis." 

fined oixria in different ways, but 96 For a fuller explanation of the 

they made no mention of 71-6- meaning of these terms see Pohle- 

ffraats-" Preuss, The Divine Trinity, pp. 220 

93 2 Cor. IX, 4; XI, 17; Heb. sqq. 

Ill, 14; I, 3- 97 St. Cyril, Contr. Theodoret.. 

94 Cfr. Cone. Nicaen., I (apud ad anath. 3: ij T0 v Aoyov viro- 

Denzinger-Bannwart, Enchiridion, n. oracris tfyovv 
54) : e ere pas VTroffrdffews tf 


For this same reason it is probable that e^o-is Ka6 
vTroaracnv, 98 found in the decrees of the Council of 
Ephesus, means "physical," i. e., substantial, rather 
than " hypostatic " union, though objectively, no doubt, 
the phrase embodies an expression of belief in the per 
sonal unity of our Lord. This ambiguity in the use 
of the term continued up to the Council of Chalcedon 
(A. D. 451), which employed WoWcns and Trpowxov as 
synonyms, thus rendering the Nestorian distinction 
between pia Woarao-ts and tv Trpoauirov meaningless." 
Finally, the Fifth Ecumenical Council of Constantinople 
( A - D- 553) rejected the phrase 8vo iwoo-racras TJTOL Su o 
TryxHTWTra, and expressly defined the union of the two na 
tures in Christ as strictly hypostatic (unitio secundum 
subsistentiam) . wo 

READINGS : Garnerius, De Haeresi et Libris Nestorii (Migne, 
P. L., XLVIII, 1089 sqq.). J. Kopallik, Cyrillus von Alexan- 
drien, Mainz 1881. Funk-Cappadelta, A Manual of Church His 
tory, Vol. I, pp. 154 sqq., London 1910. Bardenhewer-Shahan, 
Patrology, pp. 361 sq., 369, 641. T. Gilmartin, A Manual of 
Church History, Vol. I, pp. 267 sqq., 3 rd ed., Dublin 1909. L. 
Fendt, Die Christologie des Nestorius, Miinchen 1910. Bethune- 

Baker, Nestorius and His Teaching, London 1908. F. Nau, Le 

Livre de Heraclide de Damas, Paris 1910. Loofs, Nestoriana, 
Halle 1905. Ph. Kuhn, Die Christologie Leos L d. Gr., Wiirz- 
burg 1894. 

98 V. supra, p. 90. The Arians of the Fourth Century 

99 V. supra, p. 87 sq. pp. l8 6, 432 sqq.; IDEM, Select 

100 V. supra, p. no sq. Cfr. Treatises of St. Athanasius, Vol. II, 
Janssens, De Deo-Homine, I, pp. pp. 426 sqq., 454 sqq. On the for- 
123 sqq.; Petavius, De Incarn., VI, tunes of certain parallel terms ap- 
17; Newman, Tracts Theological and plied to the Blessed Trinity consult 
Ecclesiastical, pp. 333 sqq. On the Pohle-Preuss, The Divine Trinity, 
terms ousia and hypostasis, as used pp. 224 sqq., 271 sqq. 

in the early Church, see Newman, 




The Hypostatic Union of the two natures in 
our Lord Jesus Christ is a theological mystery, 
and as such absolutely indemonstrable. But it 
is not, as the Rationalists allege, repugnant to 

a) A theological mystery is one the very ex 
istence of which unaided human reason is un 
able to discover, and which, to adopt the phrase 
ology of the Vatican Council, by its own nature 
so far transcends the created intelligence that, 
even when delivered by Revelation and received 
by faith, it remains shrouded in a certain degree 
of darkness, so long as we are wayfarers on this 
earth. 1 

a) That the Hypostatic Union is a mystery in the 
above mentioned sense appears from the fact that, unlike 
the Blessed Trinity, it is not part of the inner divine 
being and life of the Godhead, but the result of a free 
decree. Whatever God has freely decreed to effectuate 
in time, can be perceived by no other medium than the 
manifestation of the divine Will itself, either as an actual 
fact (e. g., the Creation) or through supernatural revela- 

l Cone. Vatican., Sess. Ill, de Fide et Rat., can. i (Denzinger-Bannwart, 
Enchiridion, n. 1816). 


tion (e. g., the end of the world). The whole question 
therefore comes to this, whether human reason can sub 
sequently, that is, after the event, perceive the intrinsic 
possibility of the Hypostatic Union or demonstrate it by 
stringent arguments. Fathers and theologians agree in 
answering this question in the negative. St. Cyril of 
Alexandria speaks of " the mystery of Christ " as some 
thing so ineffably profound as to be altogether incompre 
hensible. 2 Leo the Great confesses : " Utramque sub- 
stantiam in unam convenisse personam, nisi fides credat, 
sermo non explicat." 3 Suarez is in perfect accord with 
St. Thomas Aquinas, 4 in fact he voices the belief of all 
the Schoolmen when he says : " Non potest humand vel 
angelica cognitione naturali evidenter cognosci seu de- 
monstrari, incarnationem esse possibilem; est communis 
theologorum." 5 

Whether the angels could by their natural powers 
conjecturally attain to a probable knowledge of the in 
trinsic possibility of the Incarnation, is a question on 
which theologians differ. Some say no, while others 6 
hold that the angelic intellect is sufficiently acute to per 
ceive the abstract possibility of the Hypostatic Union. 
Cardinal De Lugo, who favors the last-mentioned view, 
readily admits, however, that any such knowledge on the 
part of an angel would needs be so largely mixed with 
doubt, as practically to amount to ignorance. 7 

2 Contr. Nestor., I, 3 (Migne, Cardinal de Lugo (De Myst. In- 
P. G., LXXVI, 112). earn., disp. i, sect. i). 

3 Serm. in Nativ., 29, IX, i. Cfr. 7 De Lugo, De Myst. Incar., disp. 
Petavius, De Incarn., Ill, i. i, sect, i, n. 9: " De hoc tamen 

4 Contr. Gent., IV, 27. mysterio angelus proprio lumine 

5 De Incarn., disp. 3, sect. i. adeo parum cognosceret, ut merito 

6 E. g., Gregory of Valentia (De dicatur ipsum latuisse atque ideo 
Incarn., disp. i, qu. i, ass. 2) and adinventionem fuisse ipsius Dei et 

novum aliquid in terra creatum." 


That human reason could not by itself have arrived at 
a probable knowledge of the intrinsic possibility of the 
Incarnation, is admitted by all theologians. 

/?) Is there Scriptural warrant for the assertion that 
the Incarnation is a mystery in the strict sense of the 

The Vatican Council seems to intimate that there is. 
In defining the dogma that there are absolute mysteries 
of faith, it quotes a text from St. Paul s First Epistle 
to the Corinthians (i Cor. II, 7-9), which refers pri 
marily to the Incarnation. The Apostle expressly speaks 
of " a wisdom which is hidden in a mystery, 9 which 
none of the princes of this world knew," in contradis 
tinction to that worldly wisdom which " the Greeks seek 
after." 10 Now these two kinds of wisdom differ both 
with regard to their object and in principle. The wis 
dom of God is the supernatural " spirit of Christ " which 
" spiritualizes " man, while the natural wisdom of " the 
disputer of this world " X1 does not rise above the level 
of the " flesh." 12 Accordingly, too, these different forms 
of wisdom must have specifically different sources. In 
matter of fact the " wisdom of the world " is derived 
from unaided human reason, while the " wisdom of 
God " has for its author the " Holy Spirit," who by 
means of external revelation and internal enlightenment 
unfolds to man " the deep things of God," 13 and " re 
veals " what " hath never entered into the heart [i. e. 
intellect] of man." 14 To exclude the notion that the 
" deep things " of which he speaks are hidden to men 
only as a matter of fact, but not in principle, the Apostle 

8 Cfr. Lessius, De Perfect. Mori- 12 i Cor. II, 14 sqq. 

busque Divinis, XII, 5. 13 ra ^dBt] rov Qeov. i Cor. II, 

9 ffoc}>iai> ev fivffTtjply. 10. 

10 i Cor. I, 22. 14 i Cor. II, 9, 10. 

11 i Cor. I, 20. 


expressly declares that " the things that are of God no 
man knoweth but the Spirit of God " who " searcheth 
all things ; " 15 in other words, the mysteries of the God 
head completely transcend the powers of human under 
standing. As we have already intimated, the Incarnation 
is a mystery primarily for this reason that it belongs 
to the free decrees of God which transcend human pres 
cience. 16 The Pauline texts we have just quoted vir 
tually contain the further thought that the interior life 
of God, and in particular the existence of the Divine 
Logos, constitutes a supernatural mystery which not even 
the angelic intellect is able to fathom. 17 

b) The human mind can no more understand 
the Hypostatic Union than it can fathom the 
Blessed Trinity; all attempts ever made in this 
direction have merely accentuated the absolute 
indemonstrability of the mystery. 

It is true that nature offers certain analogies in the 
shape of substantial syntheses, which aid us to visualize 
and in a measure to understand the mystery once it is 
revealed. One such synthesis is, for example, the union 
of body and soul in man. 18 But it needs only a super 
ficial glance to convince us that there is no real parity 
between any natural synthesis and the Hypostatic Union. 
Whatever similarities may be noted are offset by nu- 

15 i Cor. II, 10. take of the texts quoted above, con- 

16 Cfr. Eph. I, 9; Col. I, 26 sq. suit Chr. Pesch, Praelect. Dogmat., 

17 Cfr. Pohle-Preuss, The Divine Vol. IV, 3rd ed., pp. 39 sq., Frei- 
Trinity, pp. 194 sqq. ; Al. Schafer, burg 1909. 

Erklarung der beiden Brief e an die 18 For other analogues see Les- 

Korinther, pp. 51 sqq., Minister sius, De Perf. Moribusque Divinis, 

1903. On the peculiar view which XII, 5. 
some few exegetes have seen fit to 


merous and important dissimilarities. 19 Those who have 
spun out these analogies into full-fledged arguments 
have notoriously all ended in heresy. We need but in 
stance Anton Giinther and his adherents Baltzer and 
Knoodt. 20 The Christology of Giinther savors of Nesto- 
rianism, while his teaching on the Trinity is at bottom 
but a thinly veiled Tritheism. 21 Giinther s fundamental 
fallacy lies in his misconception of the term " person," 
which he wrongly defines as " a self-conscious substance." 
Since Christ possessed both a divine and a human con 
sciousness, it was but natural for this nineteenth-century 
heretic to ascribe to Him two physical persons, which, he 
says, by virtue of a purely " dynamic and formal union " 
coalesce into a " Relationsperson" 22 It was precisely in 
this that the heresy of Nestorius consisted fusing Su o 
vTToorao-eis into cv Trpowrrov, and conceiving the union of 
the two natures in Christ as a Ii/wort? Kara 

c) Though human reason is unable to form an 
adequate notion of the nature of the Hypostatic 
Union, it finds no difficulty in refuting the objec 
tions which various pseudo-philosophers have 
raised against the intrinsic possibility of the In 

a) Priding itself upon its natural powers, the human 
intellect from Celsus to Pierre Bayle 24 has contrived 

19 Cfr. Janssens, De Deo-Homine, 23 For a fuller exposition and a 
Vol. I, pp. 1 86 sqq. thorough refutation of Giinther s 

20 Cfr. Denzinger-Bannwart, En- system consult Kleutgen, Theologie 
chiridion, n. 1655. der Vorzeit, Vol. Ill, 2nd ed., pp. 

21 Cfr. Pohle-Preuss, The Divine 60 sqq., Munster 1870. 

Trinity, pp. 256 sqq. 24 Cfr. the Dictionnaire Critique, 

22 Giinther, Vorschule zur specu- s. v. " Pyrrhon." 
lativen Theologie, 2nd ed., Vol. II, 

pp. 283 sqq., Wien 1848. 


many " arguments " to show that the Hypostatic Union 
is impossible and repugnant to right reason. But none 
of them hold water when subjected to careful scrutiny. 
For instance : Bayle asserts that if the Divine Logos sup 
plied the human person in Christ, no man can be sure 
of his own personality. This conclusion is simply pre 
posterous. Are all human beings so many Christs? 
Manifestly not. There is but one Christ. 

(3) One of the most subtle objections against the dogma 
of the Incarnation is that advanced by Celsus, vis.: that 
a Hypostatic Union of Divinity with humanity would in 
volve a change in the eternal Godhead. Let us briefly 
analyze the underlying fallacy of this specious contention. 

The dogma of the Hypostatic Union embodies two 
separate and distinct truths: (i) The Logos began to 
be what He had not been before, namely, true man; 
(2) The Logos continued to be what He had been from 
all eternity, vis.: true God. Does this teaching involve 
a mutation? 

To begin with, Celsus objection strikes deeper than the 
Incarnation. It involves the general relationship of God 
to the universe, Creation, Preservation, the Divine Con- 
cursus, and so forth. God created the world in time, 
without Himself undergoing a change from potentiality 
to actuality, for He is immutable. The difficulty is con 
siderably enhanced in the case of the Incarnation, because 
of the permanent and intrinsic relation which the Logos 
bears to the manhood hypostatically assumed by Him. 
But the underlying principle is the same. A real change 
on the part of the Godhead would occur only in the Mono- 
physite hypothesis, vis.: if the two natures were sub 
stantially combined, as such, into one nature; in other 
words, if the union of the two natures were not hy- 
postatic but merely a natural synthesis. This is not, 


however, the meaning of the dogma. A Divine Hy- 
postasis must, even with respect of itself, be conceived 
as actually infinite in exactly the same manner in which 
the Divine Nature is infinite. Keeping this in mind, 
even the unaided human intellect may perceive that the 
" power of termination " possessed by a Divine Hypos- 
tasis must likewise be actually infinite, so much so that 
it may hypostatically terminate not only in its own Di 
vine Nature, but in some created nature or variety of 
natures outside itself. Celsus argument merely proves 
that the only possible kind of union between Godhead 
and manhood is the Hypostatic Union. But if this be 
so, is not the Incarnation altogether inconceivable? No, 
because the Divine Hypostases are possessed of an in 
finite capacity in ipsa ratione hypostaseos. 

On this basis the objection may be solved as follows: 
In the Incarnation of the Logos God was not drawn 
down to a mutable creature, but created manhood was 
elevated to the infinite Hypostasis of the immutable 
Logos. The change involved in this process conse 
quently does not affect the Aoyos ar/ocTrros, 25 but falls 
solely on Christ s hypostatically assumed humanity, 
which by this unutterable union was endowed with a 
superior dignity and received the stamp of divine conse 
cration. In the words of St. Augustine, " Non im- 
mutavit homo Deum, sed sic assumptus est, ut com- 
mutaretur in melius et ab eo formaretur ineffabiliter 
excellentius." 28 

y) Another objection is indicated by the question: 
Did the Divine Logos experience an increase of intrinsic 

25 On this term see Newman, Se- 26 This quotation is taken from 

led Treatises of St. Athanasius, the great Doctor s work known as 
Vol. II, pp. 383 sq. LXXXIII Quaest., qu. 73. 


perfection by the hypostatic assumption of a created 
nature ? 

The absurdity of this question becomes manifest when 
we recall the fact that the Logos, as a Divine Person, 
is the Bearer and Possessor of the Divine Nature, which 
is incapable of being perfected. 27 The Aoyos eWap/cos 
cannot be more perfect than the Aoyos ao-ap/cos, for the 
simple reason, among others, that the Second Person of 
the Blessed Trinity, by assuming human flesh, in no wise 
changed His identity. God remains the same unchangea 
bly for ever. " Nihil illi contulit aut detraxit assumpta pro 
nostra salute humana natura, quam ipse potius unitione 
sud glorificavit. Neque minor est Deus Verbum Christo, 
quid ipse est Christus, neque seipso minor esse potest; 
et assumpta carne idem mansit Deus sine dubitatione per- 
fectus," writes Maxentius. 28 

8) It is further objected that by assuming manhood the 
Logos must have experienced an increase of extrinsic 
perfection. This objection is similar to the Pantheistic 
one, which we have already refuted, 29 that God plus the 
universe must spell a higher measure of perfection than 
God minus the universe. Any and every attempt to add 
divine and creatural perfections must lead to nought. 
The humanity of Christ and the Divinity of the Logos, 
if added together, no more result in a higher sum of 
perfection than the universe plus God. For every crea 
tural perfection, no matter how exalted, is virtually and 
eminently contained in the perfection of God, and con 
sequently cannot add one jot or tittle to it. Saint 
Thomas explains this as follows : " In persona com- 

27 Cfr. Pohle-Preuss, God: His 29 Cfr. Pohle-Preuss, God: His 
Knowability, Essence, and Attri- Knowability, Essence, and Attri 
butes, pp. 276 sqq. butes, 188 sqq. 

28 Dial, contr. Nest., 1. II. 


posita [i. e., Christo] quamvis sint plura bona quam in 
persona simplici [i. e., Verbo], quia est ibi bonum in- 
creatum et bonum creatum, tamen persona composita non 
est mains bonum quam simplex, quia bonum creatum se 
habet ad bonum increatum sicut punctum ad lineam, quum 
nulla sit proportio unius ad alterum. Unde sicut lineae 
additum punctum non facit maius, ita nee bonum creatum 
additum in persona bono increato facit melius." 80 

AND PERSON. In the Incarnation, as in the 
Blessed Trinity, the mystery of faith hinges upon 
the two fundamental notions of "Nature" and 
"Person," or "Nature" and "Hypostasis," be- 
causes a person is nothing else than a rational hy- 
postasis. For a full explanation of these terms 
we must refer the reader to our treatise on the 
Divine Trinity. 31 

a) In that treatise we showed that the notion of 
" Hypostasis " (and, in the case of rational beings, also 
that of "Person"), besides " inseity " and "integ 
rity" (substantia prima integra), includes, as its chief 
note, "perseity" (totietas in se), i. e., independent sub 
sistence as a being distinct from all other beings. While 
the concept of "Nature" (substance, essence) corre 
sponds to the question What? that of " Hypostasis " 
(Person) corresponds to the question Who? The 
Fathers and various councils explain the mutual re- 

80 Com. in Quatuor Libras Sent., thes. 33; G. B. Tepe, Instit. Theol., 

Ill, dist. 6, qu. 2, art. 3, ad i. Vol. Ill, pp. 554 sqq., Paris 1896; 

For a more detailed refutation of Billuart, De Incarnatione, disp. i, 

these objections consult De Lugo, art. 1-2. 

De Mysterio Incarn., disp. n, sect. 31 Pohle-Preuss, The Divine Trin- 

7; Franzelin, De Verbo Incarnate, ity, pp. 220 sqq. 


lation of these two notions by saying that where several 
natures and persons are involved, the persons must be 
conceived as alius et alius, the natures as aliud et aliud. 
Thus in the Most Holy Trinity, the Father and the Son 
are alius et alius, but not aliud et aliud, because, though 
distinct as Persons, they are absolutely identical in Nature. 
In Christ, on the other hand, because of His twofold 
nature, we may distinguish aliud et aliud, but not alius 
et alius, because He is only one Person. As St. John 
Damascene 32 aptly observes, " Hypostasis non signiUcat 
quid vel quale aliquid est, sed quis est. . . . Oportet vero 
scire quod, quae natura differunt, aliud et aliud dicuntur, 
quae autem distinguuntur numero, vid. hypostases, dicun 
tur alius et alius. . . . Natura significat quid aliquid sit, 
hypostasis vero hunc aliquem 3S vel hoc aliquid." 34 

Two conclusions flow from the explanation which we 
have given: (i) The heretical principle underlying 
Nestorianism, Monophysitism, and the heresy of Giin- 
ther, namely that " There are as many Hypostases (Per 
sons) as there are natures," must be false from the 
philosophical no less than from the theological stand 
point ; (2) It is not sufficient, either in philosophy or the 
ology, to draw a purely logical distinction 35 between na 
ture and person. 

b) In the Blessed Trinity there is at least a 
virtual distinction 36 between person and nature. 
In man some hold the distinction may even be 
real. 37 There are two opposing theories in re 
gard to this point. 

32 Dial., c. 17. 36 Distinctio rationis ratiocinatae 

33 Tivd. s. cum fundamento in re. 
24 rode TI. 37 Distinctio realis. 

35 Distinctio rationis ratio cinantis. 


a) One of them originated in the sixteenth century, 
and counts among its adherents such eminent theologians 
and philosophers as Suarez, Vasquez, De Lugo, Arriaga, 
and, more recently, Schiffini, Tepe, von der Aa, Fr. 
Schmid, and Urraburu. These writers maintain that no 
individual human nature of and by itself possesses per 
sonality, i. e., independent subsistence, but there must be 
superadded to the concrete human nature a peculiar kind 
of reality in order to constitute it a human person. 
Thus, for instance, " this particular man " becomes a hu 
man person only by the addition of a reality which we may 
call " being-Peter." In this hypothesis personality is a 
metaphysical entity separable from nature. But how 
are we to conceive of that peculiar entity by which a 
concrete nature is elevated to the rank of an independent 
personality? On this point the advocates of the theory 
differ. Peter Hurtado 38 and Quiros ventured the ab 
surd suggestion that personality is a real substance which 
nature can put on or off like a hat, and which conse 
quently can exist (supported by divine omnipotence) apart 
from nature. Other divines hold personality to be a 
" modal reality," 39 which admits of a one-sided but not 
of a mutual separation between nature and person. " Per 
potentiam Dei absolutam sine implicatione posset natura 
singularis conservari absque ulla personalitate" says 
Gregory of Valentia. 40 These writers base their chief 
argument upon the consideration that without some such 
modal reality, detachable from nature, the dogma that 
Christ s manhood is a perfect human nature but no hu 
man person, would be unintelligible. They hold that in 
becoming man the Logos assumed an impersonal human- 

38 Metaph., disp. 2, sect. 9, n. 50. 40 De Incarn., disp. i, qu. 4, p. 

39 Modus realis, substantiates, sup- 2, opin. 8, obi. 3. 
positalis, forma hypostatica. 


ity impersonal because devoid of " hypostatic reality " 
and communicated to it His own Divine Personality. 

Thus that which was awrroaTarov became eVuTroo-rarov. 41 

/?) A second and more plausible theory is that of 
Scotus and his school, adopted by Molina, Petavius, An- 
toine, A. Mayr, Tiphanus, and more recently by Franze- 
lin, Stentrup, Chr. Pesch, and others. These authors 
hold that the distinction between nature and person in 
man is not real but virtual, the same concrete object 
being in one respect nature, and in another, hypostasis 
or person. The advocates of this theory do not, or at 
least need not deny that personality in human nature 
is a real and positive mode, and consequently not a 
mere negation, as is erroneously held by the Scotists. 
They merely deny that this positive mode is really dis 
tinct and separable from concrete nature. That men 
are in the habit of circumscribing personality by negative 
terms (such as, e. g., incommunicability) does not prove 
that the objective concept of personality is purely nega 
tive; just as little as "unity" is a negative concept be 
cause we define it as " indivision." 

This theory, which is probably the true one, was orig 
inally propounded by Theodore Abucara in the eighth 
century. " Aliudne," he queries, " est substantia [i. e., 
natura\ aliudne hypostasis? Orthodoxus: Aliud et 
aliud non tamquam res alia et alia, sed quod aliud si- 
gnificat hypostasis et aliud substantial 2 sicut granum 
tritici dicitur et est turn semen turn fructus, non tam 
quam res alia et alia, sed aliud signincat semen et aliud 
fructus." 43 In its application to Christology this theory 

41 We are not, as was once gen- Lcontius von Byzans, pp. 148 sqq., 

erally supposed, indebted for this Paderborn 1908. 

terminology to Leontius of Byzan- 42 Note the virtual distinction, 

tium (d. about 543); it dates back 43 Opusc., 28. 
to the third century. Cfr. Junglas, 


consistently explains the absence of a human person 
in Christ, not by subtraction, i. e. } by the removal of 
a real and separable mode of subsistence, but by sim 
ply adding human nature (without personality) to the su 
perior Hypostasis of the Logos. Because of its impor 
tance we shall have to explain this a little more fully. 

c) Abstractly, the mutual relationship between 
Christ s Divinity and His humanity may be con 
ceived in a fourfold manner. ( i ) Either, person 
is so united with person that the result is merely 
one "moral person." This is the error of Nes- 
torius. (2) Or, nature is blended with nature 
so as to produce a third being intermediate be 
tween the two. This is Monophysitism. (3) 
Or, the human personality, suppressing the Di 
vine Hypostasis of the Logos, is united with the 
Divine Nature in such wise as to cause Godhead 
and manhood to subsist in one purely human 
hypostasis. This heresy is so preposterous that 
it has never found a defender. (4) Or, lastly, 
the Divine Person of the Logos, superseding and 
displacing the human person of Christ, unites it 
self with His human nature alone. This is the 
Catholic dogma of the Hypostatic Union. 

Why is it that the human nature of Christ, 
which is like unto ours in everything except sin, 
is not a human person, but receives its person 
ation from the Logos? This speculative ques 
tion may be answered as follows : 


) The distinction between nature and person 
in man being merely virtual, Christ s humanity 
loses its connatural personality by being assumed 
into and absorbed by the Divine Logos. 

In becoming the property and possession of the Per 
son of the Logos, the manhood of Jesus Christ, by 
virtue of the Hypostatic Union, loses its perseitas, i. e. } its 
independent existence. Though remaining a substantia 
prinia et Integra (i. e., a nature), it is no longer a sub 
stantia tota in se (i. e., an hypostasis), for the reason 
that it has become a quasi-constitutive element of a 
higher hypostasis. Tiphanus, 44 Franzelin, 45 and Chr. 
Pesch 46 base this explanation on sundry Patristic texts. 
But these texts either accentuate the complete consub- 
stantiality of Christ with man, 47 or lay stress on the 
Christological axiom : " Quod assumptum non est, non 
est sanatum," 48 and therefore are not to the point, be 
cause the opponents of the peculiar theory we are here 
considering do not assert that " hypostatic reality " forms 
a part of human nature; they merely define it as a per 
sonifying modus substantialis, which by its inmost nature 
is incapable of being assumed into the Divine Hypos 
tasis of the Logos. 49 A more effective argument for 
this theory can be drawn from the fact that it had three 
very ancient defenders in Rusticus Diaconus, 50 Theodore 
Abucara, 51 and St. Maximus Confessor, and that the 

44 De Hypostasi et Persona, c. 29. Three Chapters was a deacon of 

45 De Verbo Incarnate, thes. 31. the Roman Church and a nephew 

46 Praelect. Dogmat., Vol. IV, pp. of Pope Vigilius. He nourished 
55 sqq. about the year 550. 

47 V. supra, p. 39 sqq. 51 On Theodore Abucara, who 

48 V. Soteriology. was a contemporary of St. John Da- 

49 Cfr. Tepe, Instit. Theol., Vol. mascene, cfr. Hurter, Nomenclator 
III, pp. 498 sqq. Literarius Theol. Cathol, Vol. I, 

60 This stubborn defender of the ed. 33, col. 647 sq. 


opposite doctrine, as one of its chief defenders admits, is 
a comparatively modern invention. 52 

Theodore Abucara clearly teaches : " Non satis est 
compositam esse naturam cum proprietatibus ad genera- 
tionem hypostasis, sed oportet concurrere ad hoc et non 
esse partem; quia igitur pars Christi est assumptum 
corpus animation [i. e., humana natura], idcirco non est 
hypostasis, sed hypostaticum." 53 

As regards the later Scholastics, they unanimously 
maintain that the humanity of Christ would promptly 
reassume the character of a human person if, and as 
soon as, it were released from the Hypostatic Union. 54 
Not one of them intimates that in this fictitious hy 
pothesis the human nature would require a special and 
real form of subsistence in order to enable it to become 
a human person after its elimination from the Logos. 

f3) The attitude of St. Thomas in this matter is rather 
uncertain. Both parties to the dispute, i. e., those who 
assume a real and those who assert a purely virtual dis 
tinction between nature and person, appeal with equal 
confidence to his great authority. 

St. Thomas held with Peter Lombard and his master 
Albertus Magnus that " Separatio dat utrique partium 
totalitatem et in continuis dat etiam utrique esse in actu. 

52 ". . . scholastica disputatione deponeret erit substantia rationalis 
non tnultis abhinc annis adinventum naturae individua, ergo erit persona, 
est." P. Vasquez, S. J., De In- Si autem quaeratur, quid conferat 
earn., disp. 41, c. 4. ei personalitatem quam prius non 

53 Opusc., 28 (Migne, P. C., habuit, dicendum quod singularitas 
XCVII, 1578). quam prius non habuit sive in- 

54 This is admittedly the teaching communicabilitas, ut alii dicunt; 
of Peter Lombard, Hugh and Rich- nam proprie singularitas facit per- 
ard of St. Victor, Alexander of sonam in rationali natura." (Com. 
Hales, Albertus Magnus, and of in Quatuor Libras Sententiarum, 
Scotus and his school. " Si Chri- III, dist. 5, art. 12). Other refer- 
stus deponeret humanitatem," says ences in Tiphanus, De Hypostasi et 
e. g. Albert the Great, " id quod Persona, c. 6. 


Unde supposito quod [T/erbum] hominem deponeret, 
subsisteret homo ille per se in natura rationali et ex 
hoc ipso acciperet rationem personae." 55 He further 
more lays it down as an axiom that Christ s manhood 
has no human personality, not on account of some in 
herent defect, but in consequence of having superadded 
to it something which transcends human nature. 56 In 
those passages of his writings where he speaks of the 
" destruction of personality " in Christ, 57 St. Thomas 
seems to employ the term " destruction " in a meta 
phorical, not in its strict and literal sense. Thus he 
argues against the proposition: Persona Dei con- 
sumpsit personam hominis," which was falsely attributed 
to Pope Innocent III : 58 " Consumptio ibi non importat 
destructionem alicuius quod prius fuerat, sed impedi- 
tionem eius quod aliter esse posset. Si enim humana 
natura non esset assumpta a divina persona, natura hu 
mana propriam personalitatem haberet; et pro tanto 
dicitur persona consumpsisse personam, licet im- 
proprie, quia persona divina sud unione impedivit, ne 
humana natura propriam personalitatem haberet." 59 

d) It may be objected that Christ s sacred 
humanity would not be perfect if it lacked the su- 

55 Comment, in Quatuor Libros Reji, one of the most influential 
Sent., Ill, dist. 5, qu. 3, art. 3. bishops of Southern Gaul between 

56 Cfr. S. TheoL, 3a, qu. 4, art. 450 and 500. The passage occurs 
2, ad 2: "Naturae assumptae non in his work De Spiritu Sancto, II, 
deest propria personalitas propter 4. On Faustus of Reji and his 
defectum alicuius quod ad perfec- teaching cfr. Bardenhewer-Shahan, 
tionem humanae naturae pertineat, Patrology, pp. 600 sqq. 

sed propter additionem alicuius quod 59 S. TheoL, 3a, qu. 4, art. 2, ad 

est supra humanatn naturam, quod 3. For further information on this 

est unio ad divinam personam." subtle problem see Franzelin, De 

Additional texts apud Franzelin, Da Verbo Incarnate, thes. 31, Coroll. i. 

Verbo Incarnate, thes. 30. L. Janssens (De Deo-Homine, I: 

57 See the references in Tepe s Christologia, pp. 626 sqq.) puts his 
Instit. TheoL, Vol. Ill, pp. 481 sqq. own construction upon the teaching 

58 Its real author was Faustus of of the Angelic Doctor. 


preme prerogative of personality. But this objec 
tion is beside the point. Christ s human nature is 
a person through the divine personality of the Lo 
gos, and it is a far higher prerogative for a cre 
ated nature to subsist in a Divine Person than 
in its own personality. "Natura assumpta in 
Christo eo ipso est nobilior," says St. Bonaven- 
ture, "quod in nobiliori persona stabilitur; unde 
ordinatio ad dignius, quamvis auferat rationem 
suppositions [i. e., hypostaseos propriae], non 
tamen aufert dignitatis proprietatem" 

WHOLE TRINITY. As there is but a virtual dis 
tinction between each Divine Hypostasis and the 
Divine Essence, 61 and the latter is therefore iden 
tical with the Father and the Holy Ghost in pre 
cisely the same sense in which it is identical with 
the Son, it might seem that the Incarnation of 
the Son necessarily involves the Incarnation of the 
Father and the Holy Ghost. The subjoined ob 
servations will serve to remove this difficulty. 

a) It is an article of faith that the substantial and 
physical union of Godhead and manhood in Christ is 
strictly hypostatic, i. e., the Godhead is not united with 
the manhood immediately and formally, as nature 
with nature, but only in a mediate and indirect manner 

60 Comment, in Quatuor Libros qu. 2, Cfr. St. Thomas, S. Theol., 
Sententiarum, III, dist. 5, art. a, sa, qu. 2, art. 2. 

61 V. supra, p. 125. 


through the Person of the Logos. Rusticus Diaconus 
expresses it thus: " Non Dens Verbum per divinam 
naturam, sed divina natura per Dei Verbi personam unita 
dicitur carni" 62 If the relation were reversed, that is 
to say, if the manhood of Christ were formally united 
with the nature of the Logos and not with His Person, 
there would result an impossible commingling of both 
natures or an equally impossible transformation of the 
one into the other. If, therefore, considering the ter 
minus of the Incarnation, we ask : " Which of the Three 
Divine Persons became man ? " the answer is : " Neither 
the Father nor the Holy Ghost, but solely the Son of 
God or Logos." John I, 14 : " Et Verbum caro factum 
est And the Word was made flesh." The only here 
tics who ever denied this dogma were the Sabellians and 
Patripassianists. All the official creeds and the older 
ecumenical councils unanimously inculcate it. 63 

Durandus holds that the union of Christ s manhood 
with the Divine Logos was effected primarily by an abso 
lute attribute common to all three Divine Persons, 
namely, the absolute self-existence of the Trinity, and only 
secondarily by the personality of the Logos as such. 64 
This theory is out of joint with the dogmatic teaching 
of the Church. Were it true, the Incarnation would 
be primarily an Incarnation of the whole Trinity, and 
only secondarily of the Son. The Sixth Council of 
Toledo (A. D. 675) implicitly condemned this view 
when it defined: " Incarnationem quoque huius Filii 

62 Contr. Acephal. naturae divinae secundum seipsam, 

63 Cfr. St. Thomas, 5 1 . TheoL, 33, sed rations personae, in qua consi- 
qu. 3, art. 2: " Esse assumptionis dcratur: et idea primo quidem et 
principium convenit naturae divinae propriissime persona dicitur assu- 
secundum seipsam, quia eius virtute mere." 

assumptio facta est ; sed esse ter- 64 Comment, in Quatuor Libras 

minum assumptionis non convenit Sent., Ill, dist. i, qu. 5, n. 10. 


Dei tota Trinitas operasse [sell, operata esse] credenda 
est [soil, efficienter], quia inseparabilia sunt opera Tri- 
nitatis [ad extra}. Solus tamen Filius formam serm ac- 
cepit in singularitate personae [i. e., terminative], non 
in unitate divlnae naturae, in id quod est proprium Filii, 
non quod commune Trinitati." 65 

b) Regarded actively, i. e., as an external operation 
of God (opus ad extra), the Incarnation, though spe 
cially appropriated to the Holy Ghost, 66 must have for 
its efficient cause the entire Trinity or the Divine Es 
sence as such. The Three Divine Persons conjointly 
created the manhood of Christ, they preserve it in its 
being and operation, and concur with all its creatural 
actions. As the Incarnate Word is immanent in the 
Father and the Holy Ghost by virtue of the Trinitarian 
Perichoresis, 67 so the Father and the Holy Ghost are 
in Christ by virtue of the Hypostatic Union. This 
presence transcends the mode by which the omnipresent 
God is in all His creatures, and is also superior to the 
manner of His indwelling in the souls of the just. It is a 
very special kind of immanence. 68 Cfr. John X, 30 sqq. : 
"Ego et Pater unum sumus. . . . Pater in me est ei 
ego in Patre I and the Father are one ... the Father 
is in me, and I in the Father." John XIV, 9 sq. : " Qui 
videt me, videt et Patrem. . . . Non creditis quia ego 
in Patre et Pater in me est? He that seeth me seeth 
the Father also. ... Do you not believe that I am in 
the Father, and the Father in me ? " 69 

65 Denzinger-Bannwart, Enchiri- 67 For an explanation of the 
dion, n. 284. Cfr. Tepe, Instit. Trinitarian Perichoresis cfr. Pohle- 
TheoL, Vol. Ill, pp. 524 sqq.; Bil- Preuss, The Divine Trinity, pp. 281 
luart, De Incarn., diss. 6, art. 2. sqq. 

66 " Conceptus de Spiritu Sancto." 68 Cfr. Pohle-Preuss, The Divine 
(On the Divine Appropriations see Trinity, pp. 281 sqq. 
Pohle-Preuss, The Divine Trinity, 69 The rather obscure passage of 
pp. 244 sqq.) St. Cyril of Alexandria (In loa., 


c) In this connection theologians are wont to discuss 
another speculative problem, namely, whether or not the 
Father or the Holy Ghost might have become man in 
stead of the Son. St. Anselm appears to deny the pos 
sibility of such an event, for this reason, among others, 
that the Incarnation of either one of the other two Per 
sons would lead to inextricable confusion in the use of 
the name " Son." His argument substantially is that, 
had the Father become man, He would have been con 
strained to appear as " filius hominis," which would have 
been repugnant to His personal character as Father. 70 
And the same is true of the Holy Ghost. The School 
men preferred to adopt the view of St. Thomas, who 
says that the Father and the Holy Ghost could have be 
come incarnate as well as the Son, and solves the above- 
quoted objection as follows: " Filiatio temporalis, qua 
Christus dicitur filius hominis, non constituit personam 
ipsius sicut filiatio aeterna, sed est quiddam consequents 
nativitatem temporalem: unde si per hunc modum nomen 
iiliationis ad Patrem ml Spiritum Sanctum transferred, 
nulla sequeretur confusio personarum." 71 

The problem assumes a more complicated aspect if for 
mulated thus : Could the Three Divine Persons together 
become incarnate in one human nature, in such wise that 
this human nature would be a three-fold Divine Person, 
viz.: Father, Son, and Holy Ghost? 

The question here is not whether the Three Divine Hy- 
postases could become so united in one human nature as to 

XI) : " carnem absque confusione sis. For a more elaborate treatment 

venisse in unionem cum Verbo et of this subject see Franzelin, De 

per ipsum cum Patre, relative vi- Verbo Incarnate, thes. 32. 

delicet, non physice (/cat dt avrov TO De Fide Trinit. et de Incarn. 

Trpos rbv Trarepa, ax TLK< ^ s dyXovre Verbi, 1. IV. 

KCU ou 0v0-iKo3s)" must be inter- 71 Summa TheoL, 33, qu. 3, art. 

preted as referring to the Perichore- 5, ad i. 


constitute but one Divine Person. This would entail the 
Sabellian absurdity that " the Father is the Son." 72 What 
we wish to ascertain is whether the Three Divine Per 
sons could assume one and the same human nature as 
three separate and distinct Hypostases. St. Bonaventure 
thinks that this hypothesis could be " reasonably de 
fended." 73 Not so the later Scotists, who held that the 
question, thus formulated, involves an intrinsic contra 
diction. St. Thomas solved the problem on the principle 
that, " as the Three Divine Persons can without contra 
diction subsist in one Divine Nature, so they can also 
subsist in one human nature." 74 

Another still more difficult problem is: Could the 
Divine Logos either simultaneously or successively as 
sume one or more human natures in addition to the one 
He already possesses? In other words: Could the 
Logos become incarnate repeatedly, say, for instance, on 
different planets? In view of what we have said 75 about 
the infinite range of a Divine Hypostasis, we are con 
strained to answer this question in the affirmative. To 
assert that a Divine Person can assume only one human 
nature, would be equivalent to denying God s omnipotence 
and infinity. Therefore the Scholastics teach with St. 
Thomas: " Potentia divinae personae est infinita, nee 
potest limitari ad aliquid creatum. Unde non est dicen- 

72" Plures personas assumere mana, it a scil. quod sit una natura 

unam eandemque naturam [in una humana a tribus pcrsonis assumpta." 

persona] nee est possibile nee est Whence it follows: "Est out em 

intelligibile," says St. Bonaventure talis divinarum personarum condi- 

(Comment. in Quatuor Libras Sent., tio, quod una earum non excludit 

III, dist. i, qu. 3, art. i). aliam a communione eiusdem na- 

73 Cfr. L. Janssens, De Deo- turae, sed solum a communione 

Homine, I, pp. 230 sqq. eiusdem personae. . . . Sic ergo non 

745. TheoL, 33, qu. 3, art. 6: est impossibile divinis personis, ut 

" Tres personae possunt subsistere duae vel tres assumant unam hu- 

in una natura divina; ergo etiam manam naturam." 

possunt subsistere in una natura hu- 75 Supra, pp. 121 sq. 


dum quod persona divina ita assumpserit unam naturam 
hmnanam, ut non potuerit [simul] assumere aliam. 
Videretur enim ex hoc sequi quod personalitas divinae 
naturae esset ita comprehensa per unam naturam hu- 
manam, quod ad eius personalitatem alia assumi non 
possit, quod est impossible." 1Q 

BLE EXISTENCE" OF CHRIST. This controversy 
hinges on the question whether the distinction 
between an individual substance (or nature) and 
its existence is real or only logical. 

a) Not a few eminent philosophers and theologians 
hold that the distinction is purely logical, because " re 
ality " and " existence " are merely different terms for 
the same thing. The Thomists maintain that there is a 
real distinction. Between the two states designated as 
" possibility " and " existence," they say, we can conceive 
a third which is intermediate and may be called " ac 
tuality," inasmuch as a possible being transferred from 
the state of mere possibility to that of actuality is not 
yet existent, but requires the accession of the actus 
exist endi, a separable entity by which a thing re 
ceives its " formal existence." To illustrate the theory 
by an example: Peter, who is a creature, does not re 
ceive his existence through the fact that he is created, i. e., 
a creature, but by virtue of a supervening forma existen- 
tiae. It is one of the fundamental axioms of the Thomist 
school that there are in every creature three really dis- 

765*. Theol., 3a, qu. 3, art. 7. eventuality cfr. De Lugo, De Myst. 

Cfr. L. Janssens, De Deo-Homine, Incarn., disp. 13, sect. 3; on the 

I, pp. 221 sqq. On the mode of whole subject, Billuart, De Incarn., 

predication appropriate to such an diss. 6, art. 4. 


tinct stages of being, to wit : ( i ) Esse essentiae or phys 
ical essence, (2) esse subsist entiae or hypostasis, and (3) 
esse e.vistentiae or existence, each of which flows succes 
sively from the other by way of emanation. 

This peculiar theory has given rise to the question: 
Is there but one existence in Christ, i. e., that of the 
Divine Logos ? or are there two existences, a divine and a 
human? Cardinal Cajetan, Capreolus, Medina, Billuart, 
Gonet, and other Thomists maintain that the sacred hu 
manity of Christ, being deprived of its connatural exist 
ence as a human person, derives its existence solely from 
the Divine Logos, who displaces and supplies the created 
existence of manhood by His Divine Existence in the 
same manner in which He displaces and supplies the 
missing human personality by His Divine Person. 77 
This view has been adopted by some able theologians 
who are not otherwise adherents of the Thomist system 
(e. g., the Jesuits Billot and Terrien), and it deserves 
to be treated with respect, because it is apt to create 
a sublime conception of the Hypostatic Union. 78 

For those who hold that concrete reality and existence 
are objectively identical, the question is, of course, mean 
ingless. If a thing exists by the very fact of its being 
concretely actual, it is metaphysically impossible to as 
sume that the sacred humanity of Christ is deprived of its 

77 Cfr. Gonet, disp. 8, art. 2, n. humanitas optime servatur, dum 
33: " Dico Verbum non solum sub- ipse Christus et in persona et in 
sistentiam, sed etiam existentiam in existentia ita pure divinus illustra- 
humanitate Christi supplere, subin- tur, ut omnes eius actiones atque 
deque illam non per existentiam operae divinum incarnationis my- 
creatam et sibi propriam, sed dum- sterium probent, quo humana natura 
taxat per divinam et increatam exi- perfecta perfecte quoque Dei facta 
stere." atque intirne deificata -videatur, quod 

78 E. Commer speaks of it thus: solum Christum se-rvatorem adoran- 
" Vere profunda doctrina et mi- dum decet." (De lesu Puero Nato, 
randa, quia vera ei propria Christi p. 10, Vindobonae 1901.) 


proper creatural existence, and that this is supplied by the 
uncreated existence of the Logos. 79 

b) But there is involved in this debate a the 
ological problem which would remain unsolved 
even were we to admit the Thomistic view that 
in Christ, qua man, existence and reality differ 
really and objectively. This theological question 
is, whether or not the sacred manhood of our Lord 
is de facto deprived of its human existence and 
exists solely by virtue of the divine existence 
proper to the Logos. Gregory of Valentia, Tole- 
tus, Suarez, Vasquez, Tanner, Franzelin, Sten- 
trup, Chr. Pesch, Tepe, and most theologians 
of the Scotist persuasion hold that it can be shown 
on strictly theological grounds that the sacred hu 
manity of Christ in the Hypostatic Union does 
not exist per existentiam divinam, but retains its 
proper human existence. They argue as follows : 

a) It has been defined by various councils that, apart 
from a human personality, the sacred humanity of Christ 

79 The underlying metaphysical cirelli, De Distinctione inter Actu- 

problem is more fully discussed by atam Essentiam Exist entiamque En- 

M. Limbourg, S. J., De Distinctione tis Creati Intercedente, Naples 1906; 

Essentiae ab Existentia, Ratisbonae John Rickaby, S. J., General Meta- 

1883; Urraburu, S. J., Ontologia, physics (Stonyhurst Series), pp. 27 

pp. 704 sqq., Vallisoleti 1891; Al- sqq., 59 sqq. Fr. Rickaby (ibid., p. 

phons Lehmen, S. J., Lehrbuch der 28) gives quotations to show that 

Philosophic auf aristotelisch-schola- the problem of essence and existence 

stischer Grundlage, Vol. I, 2nd ed., is not a subtlety peculiar to Scho- 

pp. 334 sqq., Freiburg 1904; A. lasticism, but was hotly discussed 

Rittler, Wesenheit und Dasein in by authors of various philosophical 

den Geschdpfen nach der Lehre des schools (e. g., Hume, Locke, Brad- 

hl. Thomas, Ratisbon 1887; Pic- ley). 


lacks none of the proper attributes of man, 80 and that 
the union between Godhead and manhood was formally 
consummated solely in the Person of the Logos. 81 It 
seems impossible to square the Thomistic theory with 
these dogmatic definitions. The sacred humanity of our 
Lord would not be perfecta humanitas indiminute et sine 
deminoratione, were it deprived of its own proper exist 
ence, for it would then lack an essential property of hu 
man nature ; besides, a union consummated in the divine 
existence would not be purely hypostatic but at the same 
time an unio secundwn divinam exist entiam. 82 Holding 
as they do, in common with the theologians of other 
schools, that the Three Divine Persons do not exist by a 
" threefold relative existence," but by one absolute exist 
ence common to all, 83 the Thomists cannot escape the 
force of this argument. " Dico, non dari in divinis tres 
existentias relatives, realiter inter se et virtualiter ab exi- 
stentia absoluta essentiae distinctas" says, e. g., Gonet. 84 
But if the union of Christ s manhood with His Godhead 
were consummated in the absolute existence of the Tri 
une God, then the entire Trinity would become incarnate, 

80 Cfr. Concilium Chalcedon. 17, disp. i, art. -2: " Verbum di- 
(Denzinger-Bannwart, Enchiridion, -vinum supplere existentiam humani- 
n. 148) : " Nusquam sublata natura- tatis nihil est aliud quam unionem 
rum differentia proptcr unitionem humanitatis cum Verbo fuisse fac- 
magisque salva proprietate utriusque tarn in existential 

naturae." Cone. Lateran. a. 649 sub 83 That the Father has this abso- 

Martino I (Denzinger-Bannwart, n. lute existence from Himself, while 

262): "Si quis secundum sanctos the Son has it by generation from 

Patres non confitetur proprie et se- the Father, and the Holy Ghost by 

cundum veritatcm naturales proprie- spiration from both the others, 

tales dcitatis et humanitatis indimi- is irrelevant to the argument here 

nute in eo [Christ o] et sine demino- under consideration. 

rations salvatas, condemnatus sit." 84 Gonet, Clypeus Theol. Thomist., 

81 Cfr. Synod. Tolet. XI, a. 675 tr. VI, disp. 3, art. 6, n. 169. Cfr. 
(Denzinger-Bannwart, Enchir., n. St. Thomas, S. Theol., 33, qu. 17, 
284) : " In id quod est proprium art. 2, ad 3 : " Tres personae non 
Filii, non quod commune Trinitati." habent nisi unum esse [i. e., exi- 

82 Cfr. Ysambert, De Incarn., qu. stere\" 


and we should no longer have a strictly Hypostatic Union, 
but a mere natural synthesis. Gonet and Billuart tried to 
obviate this difficulty by the remark that the Hypostatic 
Union is consummated in the absolute existence of the 
Trinity merely mediate et secundario. But this is an eva 
sion. All the absolute attributes of God, His wisdom, 
omnipotence, immensity, etc., could be similarly limited. 
If the uncreated supplies the created existence, it must 
supply it in precisely the same manner in which the 
Divine Personality of the Logos supplies the human 
personality of the Godman, i. e., primarily and immedi 
ately. No other mode is conceivable. 

Durandus contended that the sacred humanity of 
Christ was " primarily and immediately " united with 
the " absolute subsistence of the Trinity," but only " sec 
ondarily and mediately" with the Hypostasis of the 
Logos. 85 Billuart effectively refuted this theory as fol 
lows : " Si Verbum terminaret naturam humanam for- 
maliter et proxime per subsistentiam communem et ab- 
solutam, Pater e>t Spiritus forent incarnati non minus 
quam Filius. Atqui falsum consequens. Ergo et ante- 
cedens. Prob. sequela. Quod convenit alicui personae 
Trinitatis ratione alicuius attributi absoluti et communis, 
convenit toti Trinitati. Sic quia creatio, conservatio, 
gubernatio, imo et ipsa actio unitiva incarnationis con- 
veniunt uni personae, ratione omnipotentiae convenlunt 
omnibus." 86 By substituting " exist entia " for " sub- 
sistentia" in the above argument, it can be effectively 
turned against Billuart s own position. Billot attempts 
to solve the difficulty as follows: " Esse quidem est 
unum in divinis sicut omnia absoluta, sed tribus distinctis 
modis relativis habetur, ita ut esse Patris personate qua 

85 V. supra, p. 133. 86 De Incarn., diss. 6, art. 2. 


tale non sit esse personate Filii nee Spiritus Sancti; est 
ergo Filius idem esse [i. e., existere] quod Pater et 
Spiritus Sanctus; sed cum alia relatione." 87 But this 
explanation, too, is unsatisfactory. For the principle 
upon which it rests could be applied to the Essence and 
to all the absolute attributes of God with the same force 
with which it is applied to His existence. Further 
more it gives rise to an awkward dilemma: Either 
the concept of the divine relation of Filiation (filiatio 
diz ina), as such, includes or it does not include exist 
ence. If it does not include it, the created existence 
(which is alleged to be lacking) cannot be " supplied " by 
the divine existence peculiar to the Logos. If the con 
cept of divine Filiation does include existence, we are 
forced to assume " three relative existences," which is 
repugnant to the common teaching of theologians. 88 

13) The Fathers scarcely anticipated the pivotal point 
at issue in the Scholastic controversy which we are 
considering. Like the early councils, however, they 
laid special emphasis on the doctrine that the Divine 
Logos assumed a human nature (not person) with 
all the specific determinations and attributes which 
human nature possessed before the Fall. Thus St. 
John of Damascus says : " Neque enim Deus Verbum 
quidquam eorum, quae quum nos initio rerum fingeret 
naturae nostrae inseruit, non assumptum omisit, sed 
omnia assumpsit, put a corpus et animam intelligent em 
rationabilemque cum eorum proprietatibus" 89 One of 
these properties of human nature is human (i. e., 
created) existence, and consequently this mode of ex- 

87 De Verbo Incarnato, p. 98, 4th 89 De Fide Orth., Ill, 6. For 
ed., Rome 1904. additional Patristic texts we must 

88 Cfr. Tepe, Instit. Theol., Vol. refer the student to Petavius, De 
III, pp. 528 sqq., Paris 1896. Incarn., V, 6. 


istence must have formed part of the sacred humanity 
of Jesus Christ. 90 

Some of the Fathers expressly ascribe a human ex 
istence to the sacred manhood of our Lord. Thus St. 
Cyril of Alexandria 91 draws a clear-cut distinction be 
tween the proper (i. e., divine) existence of the Logos, 92 
derived by eternal generation from the Father, and His 
(human) existence in the flesh. 93 Billuart, 94 in his con 
troversy with Suarez and Henno, quotes St. Sophronius 
against this teaching as follows : " In illo itaque 
[Verbo}, et non per semetipsam habuit [natura humana] 
existentiam unam; cum conceptione quippe Verbi haec 
ad subsistendum prolata sunt." 95 But this translation 
does not render the Greek text accurately. The correct 
translation, as given by Hardouin, 96 is as follows : 
" Simul enim caro, simul Dei Verbi caro . . . in illo 
enim et non in se [seorsum] obtinuit [caro} existen- 
tiam; 97 una cum 98 conceptione quippe Verbi haec [i. e., 
corpus et anima humana natura] producta sunt ad exi- 
stentiam et unit a sunt illi secundum hypostasin eo ipso 
momento, quo producta sunt ad exist entiam realiter 
veram et indivisam." So far from advocating the Tho- 
mistic theory, St. Sophronius virtually rejects it by attrib 
uting a separate created existence to Christ s manhood. 99 

In the twelfth century the view which we defend was 
maintained by Euthymius Zigabenus, a Basilian monk, 
who flourished during the reign of the Emperor Alexius 
Comnenus (1081-1118). " Unde de Christo unam hy- 

90 Cfr. Leo I, Serm., 63: " Nihil QDe Incarn., diss. 17, art. 2. 

assumpto divinum, nihil assumenti 95 Synod. Oecum. VI. Act., u. 

deest humanum." 96 Condi., t. Ill, p. 1268. 

l Adv. Nestor., I (Migne, P. G., 97 $Trap&v 

LXXVI, 19). 9*&na. 

92 TTJV tdiav $Trapu>. 99 Cfr. Franzelin, De Verbo In- 

93 (rapKiKrjv VTrapiv. earn., pp. 305 sqq. 


postasin personalem praedicamus," he says, " eas vero 
[hypostases], quae existentiam significant, duas afHrmare 
licet, ne alterutram naturam sine existentia esse dicamus; 
nam hypostasin, quae existentiam signiiicat, in omni na- 
tura invenimus, personalem vero non in omni." 10 

Both parties to this controversy invoke the authority 
of St. Thomas. In spite of the learned treatise of 
J. B. Terrien, S. J., 101 it still remains a matter of dis 
pute whether or not the Angelic Doctor taught that there 
is a real distinction between essence and existence. 102 It 
is a most difficult undertaking, at any rate, to put a 
(< Thomistic " construction upon such passages as these : 
" Sicut Christus est unum simpliciter propter unitatem 
suppositi et duo secundum quid propter duas naturas, 
ita habet unum esse simpliciter propter unum esse aeter- 
num aeterni suppositi. Est autem et aliud esse huius 
suppositi, non inquantum est aeternum, se~d inquantum 
est temporaliter homo factum, quod esse etsi non sit ac- 
cidentale, quia homo non praedicatur accidentaliter de 
Filio Dei, . . . non tamen est esse principale sui sup 
positi, sed secundarium." 103 " Esse humanae naturae 
non est esse divinae; nee tamen simpliciter dicendum est 
quod Christus sit duo secundum esse, quia non ex aequo 
respicit utrumque esse suppositum aeternum." 104 

100 Panopl., tit. 16. Cfr. Chr. Verbi cum Humanitate Amplissime 
Pesch, Praelect. Dogm., Vol. IV, p. Declarata, Paris 1894. 

66, 3rd ed., Freiburg 1909. On Eu- 102 Cfr. A. Lehmen, Lehrbuch der 

thymius Zigabenus (more correctly Philosophic, Vol. I, 2nd ed., p. 388, 

Zigadenus or Zygadenus) cfr. Hur- Freiburg 1904. 

ter, Nomenclator Literarius Theo- 103 De Unions Verbi, art. 4. 

logiae Cath., t. II, 2nd ed., col. 12, 104 Op. cit., ad i. Some more 

Innsbruck 1906. texts of the same tenor are quoted 

101 6". Thomae Aquinatis Doctrina by Suarez, De Incarn., disp. 36, 
Sincera de Unions Hypostatica sect. 2, and by Franzelin, De Verbo 

Incarnato, thes. 34. 


POSITA." May we speak of the Hypostasis of 
our Lord as composite? Tiphanus vehemently 
denounced this phrase as "dangerous." 105 Nev 
ertheless, it was unhesitatingly employed not 
only by the later Scholastics but also by the 
Fathers of the Church and several councils since 
the fifth century. 106 St. Bonaventure s remark: 
"Quoniam verbum compositions calumniabile 
est, ideo doctores praesentis temporis sensum 
. . . retinent, declinantes vocabulum composi 
tionis," 10T merely proves that the expression 
"Hypostasis Christi composita" like St. Cyril s 
formula "Una natura Verbi incarnata," 108 is 
open to misconstruction. There is no doubt that 
it may be used in a perfectly orthodox sense. 

The term Hypostasis Christi may be taken either in 
a material or in a formal sense. Materially it is synony 
mous with " Person of Christ " (i. e., Logos). The Per 
son of the Logos, of course, like the Person of the 
Father and that of the Holy Ghost, is absolutely simple. 
In its formal sense Hypostasis Christi means Hypostasis 
Christus, i. e., Christ as such, the Incarnate Word, and 
in this case it is quite correct to speak of a composite 
Hypostasis. Tiphanus himself admitted the orthodoxy of 
the proposition : " Christus est compositus" and conse 
quently was guilty of inconsistency in decrying the phrase 
" Hypostasis Christi composita " as inaccurate. 

105 De Hypostasi et Persona, c. 107 Comment, in Quatuor Libros 
65-66. Sent., Ill, dist. 6, art. i, qu. 2. 

106 Cfr. Franzelin, De Verbo In- 108 V. supra, p. 108 sqq. 
carnato, thes. 36. 


Composition is the putting together of several parts 
or ingredients to form one whole. In the case of crea 
tures the ingredients thus combined are " parts " in the 
strict sense of the word, because they complement and 
intrinsically perfect one another and the totum which they 
constitute. In this sense, of course, there can be no com 
position in Christ, who, as the Divine Logos, is incapable 
of being perfected ab extra. Consequently, the humanity 
of Christ, though perfected and deified by its assumption 
into the Divine Logos, cannot be conceived strictly as a 
component part (compars) or ingredient of the Logos, or 
of the totum which it forms together with the Logos. 109 
For this reason theologians usually designate the sacred 
humanity of our Redeemer as quasi-pars or conceive it 
per modum partis, i. e., as a component part in a 
purely figurative sense. Hence the theological axiom: 
" Christus est unum ex pluribus, non totum ex parti- 
bus." 110 

READINGS : Clemens, Die spekulative Theologie Anton Giin- 
thers, Koln 1853.*!. Kleutgen, Theologie der Vorzeit, Vol. 
Ill, pp. 60 sqq., Miinster 1870. F. Abert, Die Einheit des Seins 
in Christus nach der Lehre des hi. Thomas, Ratisbon 1889. 
* F. Schmid, Quaest. Selectae ex Theol. Dogmat., qu. 5, Fader- 
born 1891. J. B. Terrien, S. J., S. Thomae Aquinatis Doc- 
trina Sincera de Unione Hypostatica Verbl cum Humanitate Am- 
plissime Declarata, Paris 1894. St. Thomas, Quaest. Disput., 
De Unione Verbi (ed. Paris., 1883, t. II, pp. 532 sqq.) Wilhelm- 
Scannell, A Manual of Catholic Theology, Vol. II, pp. 91 sqq., 
2nd ed., London 1901. 

109 V. supra, p. 122 sqq. Franzelin, De Verbo Incarnate, 

110 Cfr. L. Janssens, De Deo- thes. 36. 
Homine, Vol. I, pp. 147 sqq.; 



The " Hypostatic Union " embraces two essential ele 
ments : ( i ) The union of Christ s manhood with the 
Divine Person of the Logos, and (2) the existence 
of one Divine Person in two perfect natures, united 
but unmixed. A commingling of the two natures after 
the manner of natural compounds would be incompatible 
with the Hypostatic Union. The Nestorians denied the 
personal unity of Christ by exaggerating the concept of 
duality, while the Monophysites went to the opposite ex 
treme of confounding the two natures. The Catholic 
Church pays due regard to both " unity in duality " and 
"duality in unity," thus holding the golden mean between 
these heretical extremes. 



ING OF THE CHURCH. Eutyches, an archiman 
drite (or abbot) of Constantinople, who had 
nobly defended the unity of Christ at the Coun 
cil of Ephesus, in 431, sought to strengthen 
his position by maintaining that Christ had but 



one nature (f^vij ^"), because otherwise He 
could not strictly be one Hypostasis or Person. 
Eutyches appealed to St. Cyril s famous formu 

las I cvttxris (j>vaLK.r) l and A" a Averts TV Aoyov <rcra/3Kco/AV?7 2 

as favoring his heresy. 

a) Eutyches found a powerful protector in Dioscorus, 
who at that time disgraced the episcopal see of SS. 
Athanasius and Cyril. At a council held in Ephesus, 
A. D. 449, and which came to be called the Robber 
Synod, Eutyches was declared orthodox and the bishops 
who had crossed him were deposed, a measure which 
greatly promoted the spread of the new heresy in Egypt, 
Palestine, Syria, and Armenia. Though they were unan 
imous in holding the doctrine of the juo n? <tW, the 
Monophysites soon split on the question as to how God 
head and manhood are united in Jesus Christ. Some 
held that the sacred humanity was absorbed and trans 
fused by the Godhead. 3 Others imagined that the two 
natures were simply welded into one. 4 A third, inter 
mediate faction maintained that the two natures were 
united in Christ in a manner similar to that in which body 
and soul are united in man. 5 For an account of the vari 
ous Monophysitic sects, such as the Acephali, the ad 
herents of Peter the Fuller, called Theopaschitae, the 
Severians or Phthartolatrae, 6 the Julianists or Aphtharto- 
docetae, the Jacobites, 7 etc., we refer the reader to the 

1 Cone. Ephes., can. 3 (Denzinger- this heresy was never completely 
Bannwart, Enchiridion, n. 115). extirpated. It is still held by the 

2 V. supra, p. 1 08. Copts in Egypt and by the Jacobites 

3 evwffis Kara aXXoiaffiv, of Syria and Mesopotamia. The 

4 eVoxrts Kara trbyxyaw, Jacobites were named after Jacobus 

5 evwffis Kara avvOeaiv, Baradai (571-578), who, after he 

6 </>0apToXdrpcu = corrupticolae. had been established as metropolitan 

7 In spite of the numerous efforts of the sect, labored with great suc- 
made to convert the Monophysites, cess to spread and strengthen Mono- 


current manuals of Church history and the respective 
articles in the Catholic Encyclopedia, 

b) Catholic orthodoxy found a valiant defender 
in Pope St. Leo the Great, who in his classic 
Epistula Dogmatica ad Flavianum so clearly de 
nned the Catholic doctrine that the Bishops as 
sembled at Chalcedon, in 451, loudly exclaimed: 
" Peter hath spoken through the mouth of Leo." 8 
The Council of Chalcedon duly emphasized both 
the hypostatic unity of Christ 9 and the existence 
of two unmixed 10 natures in one divine Person, 
by denning that Christ exists in two indivisible 
and inseparable, but at the same time unchanged 
and inconfused natures, the indivisible and insep 
arable unity of Person in no wise destroying the 
distinction between or the properties peculiar to 
the two natures. 

Scriptural arguments for Christ s Divinity and 
humanity, which we have outlined in the first part 
of this treatise, sufficiently prove the heretical 
character of Monophysitism as well as Nestorian- 

physitism. (Cfr. Duchesne-Mathew, Church History, Vol. I, p. 160, 

The Churches Separated From London 1910.) 

Rome, pp. 33 sq., London 1907.) 8 " Per Leonem Petrus locutus 

At the present day the Syrian and est." 

Armenian Monophysites have patri- 9 Una persona atque subsistentia 
archs at the Zapharan monastery (v TrpoawTrov Kal fiia viroffraais} , 
near Bagdad and at Etchmiadzin 10 Duae naturae inconfuse, tw 
in the Russian Caucasus. (Cfr. mutabiliter, indiyise, inseparabiliter 
Funk-Cappadelta, A Manual of (ev dvo (frvaecriv dffvyx^ TWS , <* T peT" 


a) By constantly referring to our Saviour as 
true God and true man, the New Testament im 
plicitly refutes the heretical conceit that He is 
the product of a mixture or confusion of natures, 
for such a being would be neither God nor man. 
St. Paul " treats the " forma Dei " 12 and the " forma 
servi " 13 as separate and distinct, though they are hypo- 
statically united in Christ, " who, being in the form of 
God, took the form of a servant." 14 Only on the as 
sumption that Godhead and manhood co-exist in two in 
separable but at the same time unchanged and inconfused 
natures in Christ, was He able to say of Himself: 15 
" Ego et Pater unum sumus I and the Father are 
one," i. e., as God, and again: "Pater maior me est 
- The Father is greater than I," i. e., as man. 16 " For," 
says St. Augustine, " He did not so take the form of a 
servant as that He should lose the form of God, in which 
He was equal to the Father. If, then, the form of a 
servant was so taken that the form of God was not 
lost, since both in the form of a servant and in the 
form of God He Himself is the same only-begotten Son 
of God the Father, in the form of God equal to the 
Father, in the form of a servant the mediator between 
God and men, the man Christ Jesus; is there any one 
who cannot perceive that He Himself in the form of 
God is also greater than Himself, but yet likewise in the 
form of a servant less than Himself ? " 17 The Johannine 

TWS, ddtaiperws, dxwpiVrws). Cfr. 16 John XIV, 28. 

Ph. Kuhn, Die Christologie Leos I., 17 " Neque enim sic accepit for- 

Wiirzburg 1894. mam servi, ut amitteret formam 

11 Phil. II, 6. Dei, in qua erat aequalis Patri. Si 

12 ^op<f)T] Qeov- ergo ita accepta est forma servi, ut 

13 (AOp<pT) dov\ov- non amitteretur forma Dei, quum et 

14 V. supra, p. 95. i n forma servi et in forma Dei idem 

15 John X, 30. ip se sit Filius unigenitus Dei Patris, 


passage : " And the Word was made flesh," 18 not only 
describes the Hypostatic Union of the Divine Logos with 
human flesh (= human nature), but it also implies that 
each of the two natures remained perfect in its kind after 
the union and in spite of it. 19 

b) The Fathers who flourished before the 
Council of Chalcedon (A. D. 451) believed in the 
inconfused existence of both natures in Christ as 
an article of faith. 

a) Thus St. Athanasius exclaims: "What hell hath 
uttered the statement that the body born of Mary is con- 
substantial 20 with the Godhead of the Logos ? or that 
the Logos was changed into flesh, bone, hair, and into the 
whole body, and [thus] lost His nature?" 21 Similarly 
St. Gregory of Nazianzus : " God came also as a 
mortal man, combining two natures into one (not : into 
one nature), the one hidden, the other manifest to 
men." * St. Ephraem Syrus gives sublime expression 
to his faith as follows: " Perfectam habet duplicem 
naturam, ne duas perdat. Neque enim in una sola 
natura Deus super terrain est visus, neque in alt era sola 
homo in coelos ascendit; verum perfectus ex pcrfecto, 
homo ex homine, Deus ex Deo, ex virgine Christus." 2S 
The last of the Greek Fathers, who is at the same time 
our chief authority concerning their teaching, St. John 
of Damascus, writes : " If there is but one nature in 

in forma Dei aequalis Patri, in 18 John I, 14. 

forma servi mediator Dei et homi- 19 V. supra, p. 93. 

num homo Christus lesus, quis non 20 ofioovo iov. 

intelligat, quod in forma Dei etiam 21 Epist. ad Epictet. 

ipse se ipso maior est, in forma 22 Carni., sect. 2. 

autem servi etiam se ipso minor 23 Orat. de Marg. Pret. 
est?" (De Trinit., I, 7, 14.) 


Christ, how can He be consubstantial with [His] Father 
and mother? The former is God, but the latter [i. e., 
Mary] is a human being. But God and man have not 
one nature." 24 In the West St. Hilary testifies as 
follows: "Mediator ipse in se ad salutem ecclesiae 
constitutus et illo ipso inter Deum et homines mediatoris 
sacramento utrumque unus existens, dum ipse ex unitis 
in idipsum naturis naturae utriusque res eadem est; ita 
tamen ut neutro careret in utroque, ne forte Deus esse 
homo nascendo desineret et homo rursum Deus manendo 
non essett." 25 And St. Ambrose earnestly admonishes 
his hearers: " Servemus distinctionem divinitatis et 
carnis [i. e., humanitatis] ; unus in utroque loquitur Dei 
Filius, quia in eodem utraque est natura." 26 

(3) Not all of the Fathers, however, were so happy 
in their choice of terms in treating of this dogma. A 
few employed expressions which are open to Mono- 
physitic misconstruction. Such terms are, e. g.: /cpao-ts, 
/ui<?, mixtura, etc. Tertullian 27 speaks of Christ as 
" homo Deo mixtus," and St. Cyprian says : " Deus cum 
homine miscetur." 28 But these are merely incautiously 
worded expressions intended to describe the intimate 
union of the two natures in one Person. We will quote a 
typical passage from St. Augustine, who undoubtedly 
held the orthodox faith: " Sicut in unitate personae 
anima unitur corpori, ut homo sit," he says, " ita in unitate 
personae Deus unitur homini, ut Christus sit. In ilia ergo 
persona mixtura est animae et corporis, in hac persona 
mixtura est Dei et hominis." 2& But he adds by way of 

24 De Duab. Volunt., 8. Cfr. Pe- 27 De Came Christi, c. 15. 
tavius, De Incarn., Ill, 6. 28 De Idol Van.; cfr. Petavius, 

25 De Trinit., IX, n. 3. De Incarn., Ill, 2; Thomassin, De 

26 De Fide, II, 9, n. 77. Addi- Incarn., Ill, 5. 

tional Patristic references in Jans- 29 Ep. ad Volusian., Ill, n. 

sens, Christologia, pp. 84 sqq. 


warning : " Si tamen recedat auditor a consuetudine cor- 
porum, qua solent duo liquores ita commisceri, ut neuter 
servet integritatem suam, quamquam et in ipsis corporibus 
aeri lux incorrupta mlsceatur." 30 In this famous text St. 
Augustine employs no less than three analogues to illus 
trate the Hypostatic Union : ( I ) The union of body and 
soul in man, (2) the mixture of two liquids, and (3) the 
mutual interpenetration of air and light. The first two 
comparisons savor of Monophysitism, for both the 
union of body and soul and the mixture of liquids are nat 
ural compounds. For this reason he supplements them 
with a third, viz.: the mutual interpenetration of air and 
light, which enter into a most intimate union without 
losing their specific natures. 

The most popular Patristic analogue was the union 
of body and soul, which Acacius of Constantinople (about 
480) chose to bolster his Monophysitic errors. The 
same cvwo-ts Kara (TvvOevw, he said, which results from 
the union of body and soul in man, 31 takes place be 
tween the Godhead and the manhood of Jesus Christ. 
But Acacius forgot that comparisons are inadequate and 
that the Fathers pointed out not only similarities but also 
important points of difference between the two unions. 
These points of difference may be reduced to the fol 
lowing heads : ( I ) Body and soul are mutually related 
as parts of one whole, in the strict sense of the term, 
which cannot be said of the Godhead and manhood of 
Christ. 32 (2) In man the soul stands in a natural rela 
tionship to the body, inasmuch as the one postulates the 
other. In Christ, on the other hand, the mutual relation- 

ZOEp. cit. 1233): " Illic quidem pars hominis 

31 V. supra, p. 148. sunt anima et corpus, hie vero 

32 Cfr. Fragm. inter Opera S. neque caro pars Verbi neque Ver- 
Athanasii (Migne, P. G., XXVI, bum pars carnis." 


ship between Godhead and manhood is entirely supernat 
ural. (3) In man a finite spirit is united to finite flesh, 
in Christ an infinite Hypostasis to a finite but complete 
nature. 33 (4) Christ qua Godman is both God and man, 
whereas man is neither body alone nor soul alone, but a 
synthesis of both. 34 



In order to restore the unity of faith which had 
been disturbed by the Monophysitic controver 
sies, Sergius, Patriarch of Constantinople (610- 
638, in the days of Mohammedan ascendancy), 
with Bishops Theodore of Pharan and Cyrus of 
Phasis, 1 pitched upon the formula: Christ has 
"one will and one operation." 2 This phrase, 
though not meant to deny the "duality of na 
tures" defined by the Council of Chalcedon, in 
matter of fact signalized a revival of Mono- 
physitism and was promptly denounced by the 
Palestinian monk Sophronius, who became 
Bishop of Jerusalem in 634. The adherents of 
the new doctrine were called Monothelites or 
Monergetae. 3 

33 Cfr. Rusticus Diaconus, Contra surdity of Monophysitism cfr. St. 
Acephalos: " Anima compatitur Thomas, S. Theol., 33, qu. 2, art. i. 
corpori, Deus autem Verbum nequa- i Cyrus became Patriarch of Alex- 
quam." andria in 630. 

34 Cfr. St. Bernard, De Consider., 2 v $e\r)/j.a Kal fiia evepyaa. 

V, 9. On the philosophical ab- 3 For a good sketch of the rise 



Owing to the imprudent and dilatory attitude of Pope 
Honorius, who had been deceived by a cleverly worded 
letter addressed to him by Sergius, the new heresy soon 
assumed formidable proportions in the Orient. Hono 
rius overemphasized the moral unity of the two wills 
(= absence of contradiction) as against their physical 
duality. 4 But he was not at heart a Monothelite here 
tic ; 5 nor did he issue an ex-cathedro, decision on the 

b) Among the first to condemn Monothelitism 
as a revival of the Monophysite heresy was, 
as we have already noted, St. Sophronius, Pa- 

and spread of the Monothelite 
heresy see T. Gilmartin, Manual of 
Church History, Vol. I, 3rd ed., 
PP- 395 sqq., Dublin 1909. 

4 Cfr. Wilhelm-Scannell, Manual 
of Catholic Theology, Vol. II, p. 83. 

5 Funk gives the following con 
siderations to show that Honorius 
was not at heart a Monothelite. 
(i) Though in his arguments he 
constantly, like Sergius, starts with 
the Hypostatic Union as his prem 
ise, yet he never goes as far as 
the latter, never inferring from this 
premise the oneness of will or en 
ergy. (2) The expression una vo- 
luntas, which he once uses with 
approval, is, as the context shows, 
not to be taken physically, but only 
morally it does not mean that 
Christ has only one will-faculty, but 
that the will of His untainted hu 
man nature agrees (and in this 
sense is one) with His divine will; 
it should therefore be taken as a 
testimony to Honorius belief in a 
twofold will. Neither was he at all 
inclined to accept the doctrine of a 
single energy, as we may see from 

the fragments which remain of his 
second epistle to Sergius. After 
having therein condemned as novel, 
and likely to cause dissent, the 
doctrines of a single or of a double 
will, he makes his own the words 
of the Epistula Dogmatica of Leo 
I, and declares that in Christ s per 
son the two natures work without 
division and without confusion, 
each in its proper sphere. (Funk- 
Cappadelta, A Manual of Church 
History, Vol. I, pp. 165 sq., London 
1910). The conduct of Honorius 
gave rise to many controversies. 
Cfr. Dom J. Chapman, The Condem 
nation of Pope Honorius, reprinted 
from the Dublin Review, London 
1907, and the same writer s article, 
with bibliography, in Vol. VII of 
the Catholic Encyclopedia, s. v. 
" Honorius I." Cfr. also Schwane, 
Dogmengeschichte der patristischen 
Zeit, 2nd ed., 48, Freiburg 1895; 
Grisar in the Kirchenlexikon, Vol. 
VI, 2nd ed., col. 230 sqq.; L. Jans- 
sens, De Deo-Homine, Vol. I, pp. 
691 sqq. 



triarch of Jerusalem. Another prominent de 
fender of the orthodox faith against this heresy 
was St. Maximus Confessor. 6 Officially the 
Catholic truth was first defined by Martin the 
First in a council held at the Lateran in 649, 
at which the Ecthesis, a Monothelite profession 
of faith issued by the Emperor Heraclius (638), 
together with the Typus, a similar edict promul 
gated by his grandson Constantius II (648), were 
solemnly condemned. 7 Pope Agatho (A. D. 
680) definitively disposed of the matter by his 
"Epistle to the Emperors" (Constantine Pogo- 
natus and his brothers Heraclius and Tiberius), 
which was read at the Sixth Ecumenical Coun 
cil 8 of Constantinople (A. D. 680-681) and 
hailed by the assembled Fathers as the decision of 
St. Peter. This Council drew up a new profes 
sion of faith, in which the Creed of Chalcedon 
was supplemented by the following phrase: 
"We confess, according to the teaching of the 
holy Fathers [that there are in Christ] two nat 
ural wills 9 and two natural operations, without 
division, without change, without separation, 
without confusion." 

6 Died about 662 ; his name ranks 8 Sometimes called the Trullan 
high in the Patristic annals of the Council from the domed roof of 
seventh century. For an account the hall in which it was held. 

of his life and writings see Barden- 9 Svo 0f<7t/cas 0e\e<rets rjrat 

hewer-Shahan, Patrology, pp. 576 fleXi^uara. 

sqq. 10 /cai 5vo (j>v<nica.s evepyelas 

7 Cfr. Denzinger-Bannwart, En- dStatperws, arpeTrTws, d^eptcrrws, 
chiridion, n. 263 sqq. dffvyxvTias. The Emperor Philip- 


istence of two wills and two operations in Jesus 
Christ is clearly taught by Sacred Scripture and 
the Fathers. 

a) The Scriptural argument was first exhaus 
tively developed by Pope Agatho in his Epistula 
Dogmatica ad Imperatores. He quotes these 
texts among others : Matth. XXVI, 39 : "Pater 
mi, . . . non sicut ego volo, sed sicut tu My 
Father, . . . not as I will, but as thou wilt." 
Luke XXII, 42: "Non mea voluntas, sed tua 
Hat Not my will, but thine be done." The 
opposition here expressed between the will of 
Christ and that of His Heavenly Father can 
not refer to the divine will of our Saviour, which 
is numerically one and really identical with the 
will of the Father. Consequently it must have 
reference to His human will. The same relation 
is emphasized in John V, 30: "Non quaero 
voluntatem meam, sed voluntatem eius qui misit 
me I seek not my own will, but the will of 

picus Bardanes (711-713) again until, beginning in the twelfth cen- 

brought Monothelitism to the fore, tury, at the time of the Crusades, 

but his attempt to reintroduce the they, too, were gradually united to 

heresy came to an end with his the Western Church. The opinion 

fall. After this Monothelitism sur- which has found favor among them 

vived only among the Christians of of recent years, that, as a whole, 

Mount Lebanon (called Maronites they never professed Monothelitism, 

from John Maron [ -\- 701], one of is not historically defensible, accord^ 

their patriarchs, who was civil as ing to Funk (A Manual of Church 

well as ecclesiastical chief of his History, tr. by Cappadelta, Vol. I; 

people and successfully defended p. 165, London 1910). 
their liberty against the Saracens), 


him that sent me." Another argument for the 
existence of two wills in Christ is derived by 
Pope Agatho from those Scriptural passages 
which accentuate our Lord s obedience to His 
Heavenly Father. 11 None but a human will, he 
argued, can exercise the virtue of obedience 
towards God. 

b) Agatho was able to quote abundant Patris 
tic testimony in favor of the doctrine of the two 
wills and two operations. 

a) Thus St. Cyril of Jerusalem draws a sharp dis 
tinction both between Godhead and manhood, and be 
tween divine and human operation. " Christ was 
double," he says ; " man according to that which was 
visible, and God according to that which was nowise 
seen; as man He truly ate as we eat, and as God He 
fed five thousand people with five loaves of bread; as 
man He really died, and as God He raised Lazarus from 
the dead ; as man He truly slept in the boat, and as God 
He walked upon the sea." 12 In the West, Pope Leo 
the Great, in his Epistula Dogmatica ad Flavianum, con 
demned Monophysitism, and at the same time, as it were 
in advance, cut the ground from under Monotheli- 
tism: " Sicut enim Deus non mutatur miseratione, ita 
homo non consumitur dignitate. Agit enim utraque 
forma cum alterius communione, quod proprium est; 
Verbo sciL operante quod Verbi est, et came exequente 
quod carnis est." 13 

11 Cfr. John XIV, 31: "Sicut Becoming obedient unto death." 

mandatum dedit mihi Pater, sic facio 12 Catech., 4. 

As the Father hath given me 13 Denzinger-Bannwart, Enchiri- 

commandment, so do I." Phil. II. 8: dion, n. 144. 
" Factus obediens usque ad mortem 


/?) Besides recording their belief in the doc 
trine of the two wills as part and parcel of the 
revealed deposit, the Fathers also demonstrated 
its conformity with right reason and supported it 
by philosophical arguments. 

In the first place they appeal to the metaphysical 
axiom that, since nature is the principle of operation, 14 a 
nature cannot be separated from the operation peculiar to 
it. " No nature is without operation," says Damascene. 15 
And Cyril : " Beings whose operation and power 16 are 
identical, must be of the same species." 17 

In the second place the Fathers point to the episte- 
mological principle that the intellect apprehends the es 
sence of things through their sensible manifestations. In 
regard to nature and its operations, we first apprehend 
the operations and from these conclude to the underlying 
essence. 18 We need only apply this principle to the mat 
ter under consideration to see that Monothelitism is purely 
a revival of Monophysitism. As Pope Agatho puts it, " It 
is impossible to conceive a nature which does not exercise 
the operation proper to itself." 1D 

14 Natura est principium opera- temporalis an aeterna dicenda est, 
tionis. divina an humana, . . . eadem quae 

15 De Fide Orth., Ill, 13. est Patris an alia praeterquam Pa- 
Mevepyeia /cat divans. trisf Si una est eademque [ope- 

17 Thesaur. Assert., 32. ratio }, una est divinitatis et humani- 

18 " As we perceive the nature tatis Christi communis, quod ab- 
of a thing in no other way than by surdum est did. . . . Sin autem 
its operations," says St. Sophronius, (quod veritas continet), dum hu- 
" a difference of essence always mana quaedam operatus est Christus, 
manifests itself by a difference in ad solam eius ut Filii personarn 
operation." (Ep. Syn. ad Ser- redigitur. quae non eadem est quae 
gium). ei Patris, secundum aliud profecto 

19 Cfr. Mansi, Condi., XI, 271. et aliud operatus est Christus, ut 
The Pope demonstrates the truth secundum divinitatem, quae facit 
of this proposition by a dilemma: Pater, eadem et Filius fadat; simi- 
" Si una est operatic, dicant, si liter secundum humanitatem, quae 


Another axiom adduced by the Fathers against Mono- 
thelitism is this: " Numtrus voluntatum non sequitur 
numerum per sonar urn, sed naturarum" Thus Pope 
Agatho, quoting the words of St. Maximus : " Dum 
tres personae in s. Trinitate dicuntur, necesse est ut et 
trcs voluntates personates et tres personates operationes 
dicantur, quod absurdum est. . . . Sin autem, quod fidei 
christianae veritas continet, naturalis voluntas, ubi una 
natura dicitur Trinitatis, consequenter et una naturalis 
voluntas et una naturalis operatic intelligenda est. Ubi 
vero in una persona Christi duas naturas, i. e. divinam et 
humanam confitemur, sicut duas unius et eiusdem naturas, 
ita et duas naturales voluntates duasque operationes eius 
regulariter 20 confitemur." 21 That is to say : Operation 
follows nature, not person, and hence it is not necessary 
to assume as many persons as there are operations, and 
vice versa. 

c) Two wills would not, as Sergius tried to 
persuade Pope Honorius, be necessarily opposed 
to each other. If "duality" 22 were synonymous 
with "contrariety," 23 Christ could have but one 
will. Yet the expressions Sergius uses are am 
biguous, and may be taken to imply merely that 
in Christ the human will always remained subject 
to, and cooperated with the divine. Therefore 
the Sixth General Council defined : "Duas natu 
rales voluntates non contrarias, absit, iuxta quod 
impii asseruerunt haeretici, sed sequentem eius 
humanam voluntatem et non resistentem vel re- 

sunt hominis propria, idem ipse 21 Mansi, Condi. , XI, 213. 

operabatur ut homo" (I. c.). 22 Dualitas. 

20 KO.VOVIKUIS. 23 Contrarietas. 


luctantem, sed potius et subiectam divinae eius 
atque omnipotenti voluntati." 

Duothelitism (i. e. } the doctrine that there are 
two wills in Christ) is not incompatible with the 
philosophical principle that actions belong to their 
respective supposita ("actiones sunt supposi- 
torum"). For, although two wills are oper 
ative in Christ, both belong to one and the same 
person, namely, the Divine Logos, who as prin- 
cipium quod is possessed of a double principium 
quo, by means of which He exercises two spe 
cifically different kinds of operation. Hence the 
theological axiom : "Duae operationes, sed unus 
operans." 24 

CHRIST. The familiar phrase "theandric opera 
tion" (OeavSpiKr) tvepyeia, opemtlO deiVlTllis) first OC- 

curs in the writings of the Pseudo-Dionysius. 25 

When the Severians, who were moderate Monophysites, 
at a religious conference held in Constantinople, A. D. 531 
or 533, appealed in favor of their doctrine to the writings 
of Dionysius the Areopagite, the Catholic representative, 
Hypatius of Ephesus, publicly rejected these writings as 
spurious. 26 In spite of this protest, however, the works 
of the Pseudo-Areopagite, owing particularly to St. 

24 The canon of the Vlth Ecu- 26 Mansi, Condi, VIII, 821. 
menical Council cited above can be The renewal of this protest, many 
found in Mansi, /. c. On the doc- centuries later, is called " one of 
trine of Duothelitism see J. H. New- the first manifestations of the newly 
man, Select Treatises of St. Athana- awakened spirit of criticism " by Dr. 
sius, Vol. II, pp. 331 sqq. Bardenhewer. (Patrology, translated 

25 Ep. ad Cot., IV. by Shahan, p. 538.) 


Maximus Confessor, who wrote commentaries on them 
and defended them against the charge of Monophysitism, 
gradually obtained esteem even among Catholics and ex 
ercised a far-reaching influence on theological science. 27 
The phrase " theandric operation " became current chiefly 
in consequence of a canon adopted by the Lateran Coun 
cil held under Martin I, in 

a) For a better understanding of the term 
"theandric operation" it will be useful to consult 
the commentary on the writings of the Pseudo- 
,Areopagite by St. Maximus Confessor, who con 
jointly with St. Sophronius was the chief cham 
pion of Catholic orthodoxy against Monotheli- 
tism. "Christ acted solely as God," he explains, 
"when, though absent, he cured the ruler s son; 
He acted solely as man, though He was God, 
when He ate and was troubled ; He acted both as 
God and as man when He miraculously gave 
sight to the man born blind by spreading clay 
upon his eyes, when He cured by mere contact the 
woman who was troubled with an issue of blood 
and these [last-mentioned] operations are 
properly called theandric." 29 

Accordingly we must distinguish in Christ 

27 Cfr. Bardenhewer-Shahan, Pa- sanctos Patres, hoc est divinam et 
trology, p. 537 sq. humanam, out ipsatn deivirilis . . . 

28 Denzinger-Bannwart, Enchiri- novam vocabuli dictionem unius esse 
dion, n. 268: "Si quis sccundum designativam, sed non utriusque 
scelerosos haereticos deivirilem ope- mirificae et gloriosae unitionis de- 
rationem, quod Graeci dicunt monstrativam, condemnatus sit." 
deavdpiK-^v, unam operationem in- 29 QeavSpiKai- Maximus Confes- 
sipienter suscipit, non ant em du- sor, In Ep. IV Dionys. Areop. 
plicem esse confitetnr secundum 


three different and distinct operations: (i) 
purely divine, 30 such as, for instance, the omnipo 
tent fiat which He pronounced on the son of the 
ruler; (2) purely human, 31 such as eating and 
sorrowing; and (3) mixed, 32 partly divine and 
partly human, such as, e. g. } the cure, by physical 
contact, of the man born blind and the woman 
troubled with an issue of blood. Christ s purely 
divine operations by their very nature are not the- 
andric, since He performs them in His capacity as 
Second Person of the Divine Trinity conjointly 
with the Father and the Holy Ghost. Only those 
acts of our Lord can be called theandric which 
He performs partly as God and partly as man, or 
merely as man. 33 

b) In its strict and proper sense the term 
"theandric" is applied to those divine operations 
only which are wrought with the cooperation of 
our Lord s human nature, such as, for example, 
the raising of Lazarus to life by means of the 
cry : "Lazarus, come forth !" 34 But it would 
be heretical to conceive this "mixed" or "thean 
dric" operation of the Godman monergetically 
as a compound neither divine nor human. 
Christ s divine energia proceeds solely from His 
divine nature, His human energia solely from 

30 ej/ep7eta OeoTrpeir fjs 33 Cfr. J. H. Newman, Select 

31 evepyeia avdpuTroTrpeirris. Treatises of St. Athanasius, Vol. II, 

32 evepyeia deavSpiKT) /car e|o- PP- 412 sqq. 
Xriv- 34 John XI, 43. 


His human nature, though both belong to the 
Person of the Logos hypostatically and precisely 
in the same manner as the two natures them 
selves. 35 

St. John of Damascus says: " Non divisas opera- 
tiones dicimus aut divisim operantes, sed unite utramque 
cum alterius communion?, quae propria ipsi sunt, operan- 
tem." 36 As it is the Person of the Logos alone who 
operates as principium quod through the Divine Nature, 
common to all Three Persons of the Blessed Trinity as 
principium quo, none other than the Son of God or 
Logos can be regarded as the " hegemonic principle " 
(TO yyepoviKov) of this "mixed" operation. 37 

c) It would, however, be a mistake to except 
such purely human acts and emotions as hunger, 
thirst, exhaustion, pain, suffering, and death, from 
the theandric operation of the Godman and to re 
strict the latter term solely to those "mixed" or 
composite acts in the performance of which His 
Godhead and manhood cooperated. In a wider 
sense our Saviour s purely human actions and 
emotions, too, are truly theandric. 

35 Cfr. Newman, /. c. tern in me manens facit opera sua; 

36 De Fide Orthod., Ill, 19. ut sine Spiritu S., quum similiter 

37 St. Augustine aptly exemplifies opus sit Filii, quod eiiciebat dae- 
this truth as follows : " Quis neget, mania. Illius quippe carnis ad 
non Patrem, non Spiritum Sane- solum Filium pertinentis lingua 
turn, sed Filium ambulasse super erat, qua imperabatur daemonibus 
aquas? Solius enim Filii caro est, ut exirent et tamen dicit : In Spi- 
cuius carnis illi pedes aquis impositi ritu S. eiicio daemonia." Contr. 
et per aquas ducti sunt. Absit Serm. Arianor., c. 15. Cfr. Peta- 
autem, ut hoc sine Patre fecisse vius, De Incarn., VIII, 10; Sten- 
credatur, quum de suis operationi- trup, Christ ologia, thes. 51. 

bus univcrsaliter die at : Pater au- 


For it is the Godman who performs them, not a mere 
man. By virtue of the Hypostatic Union the purely 
human actions and affections of the Godman are at the 
same time and in a true sense actions and affections of 
the Divine Logos, who, as the " hegemonic principle," 
dominates and controls the purely human element and 
through the mediation of His manhood as principium quo 
performs human deeds and suffers human affections quite 
as truly as He performs divine deeds through His God 
head. Thus and thus only was it possible for the Son of 
God to redeem the human race by His passion and death. 
The limitation implied in the last sentence will explain 
why we must conceive this special divine co-operation as 
connected with His human actions and affections only in 
so far as they bear an intrinsic relation to the atonement. 
For, as Rusticus Diaconus observes : " Deus Verbum et in 
humanitate existens in coelo ubique consuetas operationes 
implevit, licet quasdam et inaestimabiles etiam per corpus. 
Quid enim differebat ad operationes ems ab initio, utrum 
non haberet an haberet humanitatem, dum per humanita- 
tem non plueret, non tonaret, non astra moveret et si, licet 
simpliciter dicere, non amplius per earn sit operatus nisi 
sola, quae noviter propter nostram sunt facta salva- 
tionem, pro qua et inhumanatus est! 38 It is in this same 
sense that the Sixth Ecumenical Council defines : 30 
" iuxta quam rationem et duas naturales voluntates et 
operationes confitemur, ad salutem humani generis 40 con- 
venienter in eo concurrentes." 

38 Contr. Aceph. (Migne, P. L., 40 7rp6s ffwryplav rov avdpuirlvov 
LXVII, 1191). 

39 Denzinger-Bannwart, Enchiri 
dion, n. 291. 



The inseparability of the two natures, while 
not an essential mark, is an integral property of 
the Hypostatic Union. 

A separation between the two natures is con 
ceivable only in one of three ways : ( i ) Christ s 
manhood might have existed prior to its union 
with the Godhead and become united with it at a 
later period of its existence; (2) the sacred man 
hood might have dissociated itself temporarily 
from the Logos in the past ; ( 3 ) the Logos might 
dissociate Himself from His manhood at some 
future time. All three of these suppositions are 
inadmissible, as we will show in three distinct 

Thesis I : The Hypostatic Union of the Logos with 
His manhood began at the moment of Christ s con 

This proposition embodies an article of faith. 
Proof. At a Council held in Constantinople 
(A. D. 543) against the unorthodox teachings of 



Origen, 1 the proposition that Christ s human na 
ture existed prior to the Incarnation was con 
demned as heretical. The Sixth Ecumenical 
Council expressly denned: "In incarnatione 
Verbi non fuit deltas copulata carni prius ani- 
matae aut prius praefactae vel animae praeexi- 
stenti coniuncta, . . . sed cum ipso Verbo [caro 
et anima] existentiani habuerunt: . . . simul 
quippe caro, simul Dei Verbi caro; simul caro 
animata rationalis, simul Dei Verbi caro animata 
rationalis." 2 

a) That this teaching has a solid foundation 
in Scripture can be shown from Rom. I, 3: 
"Factus ex semine David," and Gal. IV, 4: 
"Factum ex rnuliere." These texts not only as 
sert that Christ was true man, but that He be 
came man through His conception by the Virgin 
Mary, that is to say, in the instant of His con 
ception. If the conception of the man Christ and 
the Incarnation of the Divine Logos had not been 
absolutely simultaneous, but separate and inde 
pendent events, Mary would not be really and 
truly the Mother of God. 3 She would indeed 
have given birth to the Son of God, but she would 

l The researches of Fr. Diekamp Bannwart, Enchiridion, n. 204; 

(Die origenistischen Streitigkeiten Nicephorus Callistus, Hist, EccL, 

im 6. Jahrhundert und das V. XVII, 28. 

Allgemeine Konzil, pp. 46 sqq., 2 Acta, art. ir. 

Miinster 1899) have established the 3 tfeoro/cos. Cfr. Newman, Select 

fact that this Council enjoyed ecu- Orations of St. Athanasius, Vol. 

menical authority. Cfr. Denzinger- II, 210 sqq. 


not have conceived Him; the Hypostatic Union 
would have occurred some time between the con 
ception and the birth of Jesus. 

b) St. Cyril was well aware of this, for he 
remarked against Nestorius : "The Blessed Vir 
gin did not conceive a mere man, upon whom the 
Logos subsequently descended; but He subjected 
Himself to a carnal birth by a union which had 
its inception in the maternal womb/ 4 The 
dogma was most clearly and trenchantly for 
mulated by Pope St. Leo the Great in the follow 
ing terms: "Natura quippe nostra non sic as- 
sumpta est, ut prius creata post assumeretur, sed 
ut ipsa assumptione crearetur." 5 

Thesis II: The Logos never even for an instant 
dissociated Himself from His manhood. 

This thesis may be characterized as "doctrina 
catholic a." 

Proof. The Sixth Ecumenical Council de 
clared that the two wills and two operations 
in Christ are united inseparably (axwpio-?). 
Since this Council did not expressly mean to de 
fine the inseparability of the two natures, but had 
in view the inseparable personal unity of our 
Lord, it may be objected that a dogmatic argu- 

4Ep. ad Nestor., i. genitus Deus, sed in ea est Deus 

5 Ep., 35, c. 3. Cfr. St. Fulgen- altissima humilitate conceptus." 

tius, De Incarn., 4: " Quam car- See also Petavius, De Incarn., IV, 

nem non conceptam accepit uni- n; Suarez, De Incarn., disp. 16. 


ment based upon its definition would not be con 
clusive in support of our present thesis. This ob 
jection cannot, however, be urged against the fol 
lowing canon of the Eleventh Council of Toledo 
(675) : ". . . quas [duas naturas] ita in se una 
Christi persona univit, ut nee divinitas ab huma- 
nitate nee humanitas a divinitate possit aliquando 
seiungi." The Ethiopian liturgy contains the 
sentence : "I believe that the Godhead has never, 
even for an hour or for a moment, been separated 
from the manhood." 

a) The only juncture at which a temporary 
cessation of the Hypostatic Union could possibly 
have occurred, was the triduum mortis,, i. e., the 
time that elapsed between the death of Christ 
and His Resurrection. But we have it on the 
authority of the Apostles Creed that the dis 
solution of the human nature of our Lord did 
not in matter of fact entail the cessation of the 
Hypostatic Union. "He was buried, and de 
scended into hell/ i. e., His body was buried, but 
His soul descended into hell. The death of Christ 
did not consist in a separation of His manhood 
from His Godhead, but in the dissolution of His 
human nature, i. e., the separation of body from 
soul, both of which, though temporarily dissoci 
ated, remained the true body and soul of the Son 
of God. From our Lord s exclamation on the 
Cross: "My God, why hast thou forsaken me!" 


certain heretics argued that the Hypostatic Union 
was interrupted during His Passion and death. 
But this conclusion is absolutely unwarranted. 
Hugh of St. Victor in conformity with the teach 
ing of the Fathers explains the passage as fol 
lows : "God merely withdrew His protection, He 
did not sever the union." 6 

b) Did the blood shed by our Lord during His 
sacred Passion remain hypostatically united with 
the Godhead during the triduum mortis ? This 
is a somewhat more difficult question, which de 
mands an extended explanation. 

a) Though not of faith, it is theologically certain that 
in Christ s living body, both before His death and after 
the Resurrection, His sacred Blood was united to the 
Logos hypostatically, not merely in a mediate manner, 
as were, for instance, His hair, nails, etc. 7 Whether and 
how far a man s blood is informed by his soul is a ques 
tion in regard to which physicians, physiologists, and 
philosophers have not yet reached an agreement. Many 
hold that the blood is merely an inanimate medium by 
which the tissues of the body are nourished and relieved 
of effete matter. 8 Putting this controversy aside, it is 
theologically certain that the Hypostatic Union is not 
limited to the sphere informed by the soul, but comprises 

6 " Deus subtract protectionem, mini proxime et immediate fuit 

sed non separavit unionem." De unitus Verbo Dei. Haec conclusio 

Sacram., II, i, IQ. On certain dif- est hoc temper e ita cert a, ut con- 

ficult Patristic passages cfr. Peta- traria non possit sine errore de- 

vius, De Incarn., XII, 19. fendi." (De Incarn., disp. 15, 

1 Suarez contended against Du- sect. 6, n. 2.) 

randus and some of the earlier 8 Cfr. Urraburu, Psychol., pp. 800 

Schoolmen: " Sanguis Christi Do- sqq., Vallisoleti 1897. 


all those factors which constitute the proper essence and 
integrity of human nature. It would be wrong, there 
fore, to argue that since, according to one theory at least, 
the spiritual soul immediately informs only the spinal and 
sympathetic nerves, the nervous system alone in Christ 
was immediately (secundum hypostasin) united with the 
Logos, all other parts of His body only mediately (in 
hypostasi). Whatever physiological theory one may 
prefer to adopt, the hypostatic (i. e., immediate) union 
of the Logos with His living blood can be demonstrated 
independently of the question whether or not the soul 
of Christ animated this blood from within. Holy 
Scripture tells us that we were redeemed " with the 
Precious Blood of Christ," 9 and it is this same Precious 
Blood which is proposed to our adoration in the con 
secrated chalice during Mass. 10 Pope Clement VI ex 
pressly declares X1 that, because of its union with the Di 
vine Word, a single drop of the Precious Blood of our 
Lord would have sufficed to redeem the world. St. 
Thomas voices the opinion of the medieval Schoolmen 
when he says: " Manifestum est quod sanguis in pas- 
sione effusus, qui maxime fuit salubris, fuit divinitati 
unitus; et idea oportuit quod in resurrectione iungeretur 
aliis humanitatis partibus." 12 

) It is not easy to demonstrate that, like His soul 
or His inanimate body, the blood which our Saviour 
shed on the Cross remained hypostatically united with 
the Logos during the three days that elapsed between 

Cfr. i Pet. I, 1 8 sq. ; i John quae tamen propter unionem ad 

I, 7; Heb. IX, 12 sqq.; Apoc. VII, Verbum pro redemptions totius hu- 

14. mani generis suffecisset, sed copiose 

10 See the dogmatic treatise on velut quoddam effluvium noscitur 
the Holy Eucharist. effudisse." 

11 Extrav. Com., 1. V, tit. g, c. 2: 12 Quodlib., V, art. 5. 
" Non guttam sanguinis modicam, 



His death and Resurrection. In the fifteenth century a 
violent controversy broke out over this question between 
members of the Dominican and the Franciscan Orders. 
Pope Pius II, in 1464, after listening to a formal debate 
which lasted three days, commanded both parties to 
cease quarrelling and reserved the final decision to the 
Holy See. 13 No such decision was ever published. Since 
the Council of Trent the opinion of the Dominicans has 
become the prevailing one among theologians. It is to 
the effect that during the triduum mortis the Logos re 
mained hypostatically united at least with that portion 
of His Precious Blood which He re-assumed after the 
Resurrection. The contradictory opinion of the Fran 
ciscans no longer has any prominent defenders outside 
of Scotist circles. 14 Some older theologians 15 held that 
the Blood of Christ was never at any time united with 
the Divine Logos secundum hypostasin, so that, had the 
Apostles during the triduum mortis consecrated bread 
and wine, it would have become mere blood, but not the 
blood of the Godman. This view is altogether obsolete 
and untenable. The dogmatic definition of the Triden- 
tine Council : " Ipsum autem corpus sub specie vini et 
sanguinem sub specie panis animamque sub utraque 
[specie existere non quidem m verborum, sed] vi na- 
turalis illius connexionis et concomitantiae, qua paries 
Christi Domini . . . inter se copulantur," 16 plainly inti 
mates that " body " and " blood " stand on the same level, 
and consequently either both are united with the Divine 
Logos, or neither of them is. It follows that since the 
bloodless corpse of our Redeemer was still truly the body 

13 Cfr. Denzinger-Bannwart, En- 15 E. g., Alphonsus Tostatus 
chiridion, n. 718. (-f 1455) and Gabriel Biel (-f 

14 Its last notable champion was 1495). 

Fr. Collius (De Sanguine Christi, 16 Denzinger-Bannwart, Enchiri- 

Mediol. 1612). dion, n. 876. 


of the Logos, the blood that had flown from it was not 
dissociated from the Hypostatic Union. 

y) Jerusalem, Beyrout, Rome, Mantua, Boulogne, 
Bruges, Weingarten, Reichenau, Stans, Neury Saint- 
Sepulchre, and a number of other places claim, or at 
one time claimed, to possess authentic relics of the 
Precious Blood of our Divine Saviour. 17 If these relics 
were genuine blood shed by our Lord during His sacred 
Passion, this would merely prove that some particles 
of Christ s body were not re-assumed but permanently 
eliminated from the Godhead. They may be venerated 
like particles of the holy Cross, but it would be idolatry 
to give them divine worship. 18 This principle applies a 
fortiori to blood which is believed to have flown mi 
raculously from consecrated hosts or images of Christ. 
St. Thomas inclines to the opinion that all the alleged 
relics of the Precious Blood preserved in different 
churches throughout Christendom belong to this class. 
" Sanguis autem ille, qui in quibusdam ecclesiis pro re- 
liquiis conservatur, non fiuxit ex latere Christi, sed mi- 
raculose dicitur efHuxlsse de quadam imagine Christi per- 
cussa," 19 This fluid is not the blood of Christ at all, 
because the glorified Saviour " no longer dies," and 
consequently sheds no more blood. For the rest it is 
well to be cautious in accepting such medieval leg 
ends. The phenomenon of " bleeding hosts " may be 
caused by a certain rare micrococcus, called prodigiosus, 20 
the action of which is described thus by one of our leading 

17 Cfr. the Catholic Fortnightly On the different kinds of worship 
Review, Vol. XVI (1909), No. 10, (latria, dulia, hyperdulia, etc.) see 
pp. 296 sqq. Pohle-Preuss, Mariology. 

18 Cfr. Benedict XIV, De Festis, 19 S. Theol., 3a, qu. 4, art. 2. 
374. See A. Jox, Die Reliquien 20 Also Monas prodigiosa Ehren- 
des kostbaren Blutes unseres gott- berg. 

lichen Heilandes, Luxemburg 1880. 


bacteriologists : " Starchy substances, such as boiled 
potatoes, bread, rice, hosts, etc., show moist, blood-red 
spots, which sometimes spread rapidly. The sudden ap 
pearance of such spots on articles of daily use has given 
rise to all sorts of curious superstitions." 21 

8) The theological axiom: " Quod semel Verbum as- 
sumpsit, nunquam dimisit " applies absolutely only to the 
soul of our Divine Redeemer; in regard of His body, 
including His Precious Blood, it has but relative value. 
The blood which Christ shed at the circumcision, and 
when He was scourged, and during His agony on Mount 
Olivet, unquestionably left the union with His Godhead 
for ever. This applies in an even greater measure to the 
secretions incident to the ordinary anabolic and catabolic 
processes of nature, e. g., tears, perspiration, sputum. 22 

Thesis III: The Logos will never dissociate Him 
self from His manhood. 

This proposition embodies an article of faith. 

Proof. While the so-called Seleucians heret- 
ically taught that Christ had "transplanted His 
sacred humanity to the sun/ 23 Marcellus of An- 
cyra, 24 and his disciple Photinus of Sirmium, 25 

21 A. de Bary, Vorlesungen uber 24 Died about 374. Cfr. New- 
Bakterien, p. n, Leipsic 1885. Cfr. man, Select Orations of St. Athana- 
the article " Hostien " in Burg s sius, Vol. II, pp. 196 sqq. ; Barden- 
Kontrovers-Lexikon, pp. 414 sqq., hewer-Shahan, Patrology, pp. 241 
Essen-Ruhr, 1905. sq. What remains of Marcellus 

22 Cfr. Tepe, Instit. TheoL, Vol. writings is to be found in Chr. H. 
Ill, pp. 541 sqq., Paris 1896; Chr. G. Rettberg, Marcelliana, Gottingen 
3rd ed., pp. 80 sqq., 95 sqq., Friburgi 1794- 

Pesch, Praelect. Dogmat., Vol. IV, 25 Died about 376. His numer- 

1909; L. Janssens, De Deo-Homine, ous writings have all perished. 

Vol. I, pp. 294 sqq., Friburgi 1901. Cfr. Th. Zahn, Marcellus von An- 

23 Cfr. Ps. XVIII, 6: "In sole cyra, pp. 189 sqq., Gotha 1867. 
posuit tabernaculum suum." 


maintained that the Saviour would not dispossess 
Himself of His body until after the resurrection 
of the flesh. The Second General Council of 
Constantinople (A. D. 381) rejected this heresy 
by adding to the Nicene Creed the phrase : "Of 
whose kingdom there .shall be no end." 

a) The perpetual inseparability of our Lord s 
two natures is implied in the Scriptural teach 
ing (i) that Christ is eternal and (2) that He 
is forever our High Priest and King. The eter 
nal existence of Christ (not to be confounded 
with the eternity of the Divine Logos) is taught 
in Heb. XIII, 8: "lesus Christus heri et hodie, 
ipse et in saecula Jesus Christ, yesterday, and 
to-day, and the same for ever." That the Apos 
tle in this passage means the Godman, i. e., the 
synthesis of Logos and manhood, is evidenced by 
his teaching in regard to Christ s eternal priest 
hood. Cfr. Heb. VII, 24: "Hie [scil Christus] 
eo quod maneat in aeternuwi, sempiternum habet 
sacerdotium But this one [Christ] for that 
he continueth for ever, hath an everlasting priest 
hood." He is also called Eternal King. Cfr. Luke 
I, 33 : "Et regni eius non erit finis And of 
his kingdom there shall be no end." God Him 
self "hath sworn" that the priesthood "according 
to the order of Melchisedech" shall never come 

26 ou T^S /3a<rtXei as ou/c earai reXos- Cfr. Denzinger-Bannwart, 
Enchiridion, n. 86. 


to an end. 27 It is equally certain that the king 
dom of Christ, i. e. } the triumphant Church which 
is His mystical body, together with its High 
Priest and King, will endure for ever. 

b) The unanimity of the holy Fathers in re 
gard to this dogma makes it unnecessary for us 
to elaborate the argument from Tradition. In 
his controversy with Marcellus of Ancyra St. 
Cyril of Jerusalem denounces the new heresy as 
"another dragon s head lately arisen in Galatia," 
and he concludes his exposition of the orthodox 
belief with the injunction : "This hold fast, this 
believe; but what heresy has brought forth, that 
reject ; for thou hast been most clearly instructed 
regarding the kingdom of Christ which will 
never end/ 28 St. Chrysostom writes trench 
antly: "[Christ] put on our flesh, not to put it 
off again, but to keep it for ever." 29 

READINGS: Assemani, Bibliotheca Orientalis, t. II, dissert. 
De Monophysitis, Romae 1721. Ph. Kuhn, Die Christologie 
Leos I. des Grossen in systematischer Darstellung, Wiirzburg 
1894. Hefele, Konsiliengeschichte, 2nd ed., Vols. II and III, 
Freiburg 1875-1877. Chr. Walch, Historic der Ketzereien, Vols. 
IV to VIII, Leipsic 1878. !. A. Dorner, History of the Develop 
ment of the Doctrine of the Person of Christ, 5 vols., Edinburgh 
1861-63. Wilhelm-Scannell, A Manual of Catholic Theology, 
Vol. II, pp. 74 sqq., 82 sqq., 2nd ed., London 1901. Funk-Cappa- 
delta, A Manual of Church History, Vol. I, pp. 157 sqq., 163 sqq., 
London 1910. J. H. Newman, Select Treatises of St. Athanasius, 

27 Cfr. Ps. CIX, 4. vius, De Incar., XII, 18; Suarez, 

2&Catech., 15, n. 27. De Myst. Vit. Christi, disp. 51, 

29 Horn, in loa., n. Cfr. Peta- sect. i. 


Vol. II, pp. 331 sqq., 412 sqq. Freddi-Sullivan, Jesus Christ the 
Word Incarnate, Considerations Gathered from the Works of 
the Angelic Doctor, St. Thomas Aquinas, pp. 169 sqq., 195 sqq., 
St. Louis 1904. W. H. Hutton, The Church of the Sixth Cen 
tury, London 1897. 



The effects of the Hypostatic Union, in their 
concrete manifestation, are called attributes of 
Christ. They may be considered in relation ( i ) 
to the Person of our Redeemer, or (2) to His Di 
vine Nature, or (3) to His human nature. 

The attributes of Christ s Divine Nature man 
ifestly coincide with the divine attributes in gen 
eral, and as such are treated in the first two vol 
umes of this series of dogmatic text-books. 1 

In the following two Sections we shall con 
sider: (i) The attributes of Christ s Divine 
Person and (2) those of His Human Nature. 

GENERAL READINGS : Oswald, Christologie, 7-9, 2nd ed., 
Paderborn 1887. * Scheeben, Dogmatik, Vol. Ill, 223-253, 
Freiburg 1882 (summarized in Wilhelm-Scannell, A Manual of 
Catholic Theology, Vol. II, pp. 108 sqq., 2nd ed., London 1901). 
*Franzelin, De Verbo Incarnato, thes. 37-45, Romae 1881. 
Heinrich-Gutberlet, Dogmatische Theologie, Vol. VII, Mainz 
1896. Th. H. Simar, Lehrbuch der Dogmatik, 4th ed., Vol. I, pp. 
465 sqq., Freiburg 1899. W. Humphrey, S. J., The One Media 
tor, pp. 238 sqq., London s. a. Freddi-Sullivan, S. J., Jesus 
Christ the Word Incarnate, St. Louis 1904. 

i Pohle-Preuss, God: His Know- Louis 1911, and The Divine Trinity, 
ability, Essence, and Attributes, St. ibid. 1912. 






tion of Perichoresis (pix<w" or <nyMrepixwr, in 
Latin circumincessio, later circuminsessio) em 
braces two essential elements: (a) Duality in 
unity and (b) Unity in duality. The former is 
the material, the latter the formal element. 

In other words: The mutually in-existing substances 
must be (i) really distinct and (2) substantially one. 
Without a real distinction there would be no Perichoresis 
but absolute identity; without substantial unity the two 
substances would merely co-exist side by side. 

The specific nature of Perichoresis depends entirely 
on the manner in which the elements are combined in one 
unum substantiate. Trinitarian differs essentially from 
Christological Perichoresis, is its exact counterpart in 
fact, because the mutual relations of nature and person 
in the Blessed Trinity and in Christ are precisely con- 



trary. 2 " As in the Trinity, three Persons exist in one 
nature, so in the Word Incarnate, two natures exist 
in one Person, and therefore the Fathers applied the 
term Perichoresis to both mysteries. But as Trinitarian 
Perichoresis proceeds, so to speak, from the statical pos 
session of a common nature, so in the mystery of the 
Incarnation Perichoresis is based upon the Hypostatic 
Union, i. e., that powerful magnet by which the human 
nature is drawn into substantial communion with the 
Godhead. This latter Perichoresis reaches its climax in 
the effective interpenetration of both natures in Christ s 
theandric operation." 3 In Christ, therefore, the bond 
which unites Godhead and manhood is the Divine Person 
of the Logos, who possesses at once two natures inti 
mately united, indwelling in each other by virtue of the 
Hypostatic Union. 4 

Considered in relation to the Hypostatic Union, Peri 
choresis is its counterpart rather than an effect flowing 
therefrom. For, as Oswald truly observes, " The Sym- 
perichoresis of the two natures, effected by personal 
unity, is merely the reverse side of that personal unity 
by which it is effected; the two complement each other 
and together constitute the perfect expression of the 
hypostatic or physical union." 5 According to our hu 
man mode of conception, the Hypostatic Union precedes 
Perichoresis as a condition precedes that which it con 
ditions, and therefore we conceive the latter as an effect 
of the former. 

In Christology, therefore, Perichoresis may be 
defined as "the mutual in-existence of the two 

2 V. supra, pp. 3 sq. auiv ru>v tfrvveuv eZs dXXijXas TCJ 

3 L. Janssens, De Deo-Homine, \6yw rrjs OVfufnlttlS, 

Vol. I, p. 684, Freiburg 1901. 5 Oswald, Christologie, p. 160, 2nd 

4Cfr. St. Gregory of Nazianzus, ed., Paderborn 1887. 
Ep. ioi ad Cledon.: /cat ir 


unmixed natures (the divine and the human) by 
reason of their hypostatic union with the Person 
of the Logos." 

formity with our previous teaching in regard to 
the immutability of the Logos, 6 we claim that the 
power which unifies and binds together the two 
natures in Perichoresis cannot proceed from the 
humanity of Christ; it must originate in the 
Divine Logos, who, despite His own impene 
trability, in a manner ineffable and mysterious, 
seizes, penetrates, and immerses Himself in the 
human nature, and thus becomes 
the God- Word Incarnate. 

a) Leporius describes this process somewhat tech 
nically as follows : " Deus qui capax est, non capabilis, 
penetrans, non penetrabilis, implens, non implebilis, qui 
ubique simul totus et ubique diffusus per infusionem 
potentiae suae misericorditer naturae mixtus est humanae, 
non humana natura naturae est mixta divinae. Caro 
igitur proncit in Verbum, non Verbum proficit in carnem, 
et tamen verissime Verbum caro factum est." 7 Peri 
choresis is therefore not a mutual interpenetration (com- 
penetratio mutua) ; it must rather be defined as a mu 
tual in-existence ( inexistentia mutua) of the two natures 
in Christ. Human nature, being a created substance, can 
not be immersed in the Logos in the same way in which 
the immutable Logos immerses itself in it. St. John of 

6 V. supra, pp. 121 sq. clator Literar. Theologiae Catholicae, 

7 Libell. Emend., n. 4. On the Vol. I, 3rd ed., col. 287, Innsbruck 
monk Leporius and his Libellus 1903. 

Emendationis cfr. Hurter, Nomen- 


Damascus puts it thus : " The penetration does not pro 
ceed from the flesh, but from the Godhead. For it is 
impossible that the flesh should permeate the Godhead; 
but by penetrating into the flesh, the Divine Nature has 
endowed the flesh with an inexplicable penetration of 
itself, which is called unition." 8 

b) In view of this dissimilarity, there can be no doubt 
as to what the holy Fathers mean when they speak 
of a " deificatio humanitatis " and refer to the flesh of 
Christ as "vivified" The term deificatio (dctoxn?) does 
not signify apotheosis in the Monophysitic sense. It is 
rather to be taken as indicating merely the deification of 
Christ s manhood through the medium of Perichoresis or 
the Hypostatic Union. St. John Damascene says: 
" From the time that God the Word became flesh, He 
is as we are in everything except sin, and of our na 
ture without confusion. He has deified our flesh for 
ever through the mutual interpenetration of His Godhead 
and His flesh without confusion." 9 Consequently the 

0ieo<ns is not based on orr/xucris, but On the TTC/DIXW/^O-IS of 

the two natures resulting from their Hypostatic Union. 
To deification thus defined there corresponds as a prac 
tical correlative the " vivifying power of Christ s flesh," 
because His humanity (which is what is meant by 
flesh), represents a " second nature " hypostatically incor 
porated with and intimately possessed by the Divine Lo 
gos, which (second nature) as instrumentum coniunctum, 
produces truly theandric effects. 10 " Si quis non confite- 

8 De Fide Orthodoxa, III, 19: inexplicabilem in se ipsant im- 

" Commeatio non ex came, sed ex meationem, quam unitionem -vo- 

divinitate facta est. Impossibile est cant." 

enim carnem permeare divinitatem; 9 Or. de Imagin,, I, 21. 

sed divina natura quum per carnem 10 V. supra, pp. 162 sqq. 
semet immeavit, dedit etiam carni 


tur," says the Council of Ephesus (431 ) , " carneni Domini 
vivificatricem esse et propriam ipsius Verbi Dei Patris sed 
velut alterius praeter ipsum coniuncti eidem per dignita 
tem aut quasi divinam habentis habitationem, ac non po- 
tius vivificatricem esse, quia facta est propria Verbi cuncta 
vivificare valentis, 11 anathema sit." 12 

trine of Perichoresis contains the most effec 
tive and trenchant refutation of all Christological 
as well as Trinitarian heresies. It categorically 
excludes Nestorianism and Adoptionism, which 
assert that the two natures co-exist side by side, 
and it disproves Monophysitism and Monotheli- 
tism, because the mutual in-existence of the two 
natures necessarily supposes their respective in 
tegrity. Thus there can be no exaggeration of 
the notion of unity, which would result in real 
confusion. Perichoresis represents the golden 
mean between heretical extremes and is equally 
effective against Nestorius and Eutyches. Im 
plying as it does the truth that there are in Christ 
two natures, a divine and a human, it strikes 
effectively at all those heresies which deny either 
the Divinity or the humanity of our Lord and 
Saviour. Pope Leo the Great gives apt expression 
to this thought when he says : "Tot a enim est in 

11 ffdpKO. ZWOTTOIOV . 6ri ye- 12 Denzinger-Bannwart, Enchiri- 

yove ISia TOV Aoyov TOV TO. irdvTa dion, n. 123- Cfr. Petavius, De In- 
{uoyoveiv la^y VT0 ^- earn., X, i sqq. 


maiestate humilitas, tota in humilitate maiestas, 
nee infert unitas confusionem, nee dirimit propri- 
etas unitatem." 13 



i. DEFINITION OF THE TERM. What is tech 
nically known as the Communication of Idioms 
may be defined as "a mutual exchange of divine 
and human properties in virtue of the Hypostatic 
Union/ Though practically identical with Peri- 
choresis, the Communication of Idioms may 
more appropriately be regarded as an effect 
thereof. For if the Divine Person of the Logos 
is both God and man, it is inevitable that His 
Godhead and His manhood should interchange 
their respective properties, and this is precisely 
what is meant by communicatio proprletatum s. 
idiomatuni (Avrffloow T&V iStw/xaTwv ?i iSioT^ran/). We 
thus have a transfer of predicates or attributes 
from one nature to the other, as, e. g., "God has 
suffered/ or "The man is God." Since, however, 
"interchange" and "predication" are not synony 
mous terms, it will be better, for the sake of 
clearness, to distinguish between the (ontolog- 
ical) interchange of idioms and the (logical) 
predication of the several kinds of attributes. 

13 Serm. de Pass., 3, c. i. 


a) Communicatio idiomatum means the actual 
transfer of divine attributes to the man Jesus 
and of human attributes to the Divine Logos. 
The extent and mode of this transfer depend on 
the manner in which Godhead and manhood are 
united in Christ. After a fashion even Nestorian- 
ism and Monophysitism admitted a Communica 
tion of Idioms, but their theory, made to conform 
with the heretical system of which it is a corollary, 
differs essentially from the approved Catholic 
doctrine. Communication of Idioms in the Cath 
olic sense is based on this principle : "In Christ 
God is man and man is God; but Godhead and 
manhood are by no means identical." In the 
words of the Council of Ephesus: "Una per 
sona composita Christus totus est Deus et totus 
est homo; totus est Deus etiani cum hunianitate, 
sed non secundum humanitatem Deus, et totus 
est homo cum divinitate, sed non secundum di- 
vinitatem homo One composite person, Christ, 
is all God and all man; He is all God even with 
His manhood, but not according to His manhood; 
and He is all man with His Godhead, but not 
according to His Godhead." 1 

It is wrong to say, therefore, as some theologians do, 
that the doctrines of Perichoresis and Communication 
of Idioms represent a mere Scholastic logomachy. They 
constitute a touchstone of orthodoxy in all questions re- 

i Cfr. Hardouin, Condi., I, 1640. 


garding the union between the Godhead and human na 
ture. Perichoresis is merely the reverse side of the Hy- 
postatic Union, while the dvriSom? TWV iSico/mrwi/ represents 
a necessary and important corollary of that dogma. 
These two doctrines enable the theologian to conclude a 
posteriori from the one to the other, and from the effect 
to the cause, i. e., the Hypostatic Union itself. It is by 
means of this method that we have demonstrated the Hy 
postatic Union from Sacred Scripture, Tradition, and the 
Creeds, and by this same method Nestorius was convicted 
of heresy in his teaching on the Communication of Idioms. 

b) By Predication of Idioms we understand 
the communicatio idiomatum expressed in terms 
of thought or speech. Needless to say, a term 
must correspond to the thing which it is intended 
to designate. Formulated in logical terms the 
ontological law underlying the communicatio idio 
matum gives us the following rule of predication : 
"Whatever is predicated of the Divine Person of 
Christ according to His Divine Nature, can and 
must be predicated of the same Divine Person also 
in His human nature, and vice versa; but the 
predicates proper to the Divine Nature must not 
be assigned to the human nature, and vice versa." 

The first part of this rule is based upon the unity of 
the one Divine Person in two natures; the second, upon 
the fact that the two natures co-exist separately and in- 
confused in one Person. " Christus est una persona et 
hypostasis in utraque natura, divina soil, et humana" 
says St. Thomas, " unde potest utriusque naturae nomine 


designari; et quocunque nomine significetur, potest prae- 
dicari de eo id quod est utriusque naturae, quia utrique 
non supponitur nisi una hypostasis. Et per hunc modum 
possumus dicere, quod "homo creavit Stellas" et quod 
" Dominus gloriae est crucifixus" ; et tamen non creavit 
Stellas secundum quod homo, sed secundum quod Deus: 
nee crucifixus est secundum quod Deus, sed inquantum 
homo." 2 This rule is merely an application of the gen 
eral principles of logic. Of sugar, for instance, we 
can say in concrete terms : " The white is sweet " and 
" The sweet is white," because the unity of the under 
lying suppositum produces an objective identity between 
its attributes. But we cannot say that "whiteness is 
sweetness," because the two qualities thus denoted are 
separate and distinct entities and their concepts cannot 
be interchanged. Reduced to its simplest terms, therefore, 
the Christological law of predication reads: " Mutua 
idiomatum praedicatio valet tantummodo in concrete, non 
valet in abstracto." We can say of Christ, for instance, 
" God is man," or " Man is God," but we cannot say, 
" Divinity is humanity," or " Humanity is Divinity." 
For according to a general rule of logic, concrete terms 
alone demonstrate or " suppose " the hypostasis or per 
son, while abstract terms always demonstrate or suppose 
the nature of a being. 3 

IDIOMS. The communicatio idiomatum is not 
always accurately predicated. 

a) The only correct predicates are those based 
upon the orthodox doctrine that there is in Christ 

2 Led. in i Cor., 2, II. 

3 Cfr. St. Thomas, 5. Theol., 33, qu. 16, art. 4. 



but one Person, and that this one (Divine) Per 
son possesses two inconfused natures. 

a) Human predicates can be applied to the Divine Hy- 
postasis only in concreto. It is only by concrete terms 
that a subject is designated as the bearer of its predicates, 
and the rules of logic permit us to affirm the objective 
identity of subject and predicate. We may, therefore, 
say : " God is man," " The Logos is the Son of Mary," 
" Christ was weary " ; for in making these statements we 
simply assert that one and the same person exercises two 
distinct natural functions. 

(3) If, however, the Aoyo? evcrapKos is to be expressly 
designated according to either one of His two natures, 
the respective predicates, even if concrete, must in each 
case be in accord with their proper subject. The reason 
is quite obvious. The subject in every such case is not 
taken formally as a person, but as a person constituted in 
this or that determined nature. It is correct, therefore, 
to say : " Jesus as God is the creator of the universe," 
" The Logos as man suffered and died ; " but it is false to 
say : " Christ as man created the world," or " Christ as 
God was crucified." The two last-mentioned proposi 
tions require a negative particle to make them true 
(" Christ as God was not crucified," " Christ as man did 
not create the world "), though in this negative form they 
again become false if the apposition is removed, e. g., 
" The Son of God was not crucified." 

y) Of abstract predicates those only can be applied 
to the Divine Hypostasis which connote a divine attri 
bute, e. g., " Christ is the Godhead," " The man Jesus 
is omnipotence itself." The reason is that the Hypostasis 
of the Logos is really identical with the Divine Nature and 
all its attributes. This rule does not, however, apply to 


abstract terms that express a purely human quality, be 
cause the Godhead is not and cannot be identical with 
manhood. Hence it would be false to say that " The 
Logos is the human nature," or " Christ is mortality." 

b) Predicates which deny the unity of Per 
son or involve a confusion of the two natures in 
Christ 4 are necessarily false. 

a) Any predicate which would either formally exclude 
the Divine Person or include a (non-existing) human 
person, would give rise to false and heretical inferences ; 
for example : " The Son of Mary is not the same as 
the Son of the Father," or " Christ is a mere man." To 
this category belongs the Adoptionist thesis : " The man 
Jesus is not the natural, but an adopted son of God." 

(3) Whenever divine and human attributes are ex 
pressed by means of abstract terms, these terms may not, 
under pain of heresy, be interchanged (e. g., " The God 
head is the manhood," " Mortality is omnipotence "), be 
cause abstract terms logically " suppose " the nature of a 
being, and the two natures in Christ are distinct and in- 

y) Purely human abstract terms must not be predi 
cated of the Godhead, 5 because the Divine Person and 
the human nature of Christ are in no wise identical. 
Hence it would be wrong to say : " The Logos is man 
hood " (instead of: "The Logos is man"). This rule 
also applies to those concrete human attributes which by 
their very nature cannot be predicated of the Divine 
Hypostasis, e. g., body and soul as essential components 

4 The first-mentioned error is 5 The case is, of course, different 

that of Nestorius, the second that with such abstract terms as denj 
of the Monophysites. divine attributes. 


of human nature. Not even during the triduum mortis 
would it have been correct to say : " The Son of God 
is a corpse," or " The Logos is a soul," because, though 
concrete, the terms body and soul apply solely to the 
human nature in its essential constituents. 

8) No human concretum, and a fortiori no human 
abstraction, can be predicated of a divine abstractum. 
Hence it would be inaccurate to say : " The Godhead is 
the Son of Mary," or " Omnipotence was crucified," or, 
still worse, " Divine wisdom is passibility." There is 
but one exception to this rule, namely if the abstract 
term is employed by the speaker or writer as it was 
sometimes employed by the Fathers in lieu of a con 
crete, e. g., " Deltas [= is qui habet deitatem] nata est 
ex Virgine." In the famous hymn attributed to St. 
Ambrose a concrete is substituted for an abstract term: 
" Tu ad liberandum suscepturus hominem [= naturam 
humanam s. humanitatem] non horruisti Virginis 

c) Lastly, such attributes as are based on the supposi 
tion that the Incarnation has not yet taken place, may 
be predicated of the Logos, but not of Christ. Hence it 
is incorrect to say : " Christ was made man," instead of : 
" The Son of God (or Logos) was made man." This is 
a rule which is often violated by catechists and preachers ; 
fortunately, however, disregard of it does not involve 

c) Ambiguous predicates are those which, be 
ing couched in indefinite terms, admit of both an 
orthodox and a heretical interpretation. Predi 
cates of this sort have always been popular with 
heretics, because they afford a comfortable hiding 


place to those who covertly attack the Catholic 

When such ambiguous predicates occur in the writ 
ings of the Fathers the presumption is always in favor 
of orthodoxy. Preachers, catechists, and all who write 
on theological subjects should, however, bear in mind 
that they are bound to express the Catholic doctrine 
in correct, unmistakable, and unequivocal terms. Thus, 
instead of saying : " Christ is a creature," it is pref 
erable to use the phrase : " Christ according to His 
manhood is a creature," thus positively excluding Arian- 
ism. In view of Nestorianism certain expressions 
which were employed by the Fathers before the rise of 
that heresy have been officially proscribed and must now 
be avoided; e. g., homo deifer (avQpuiros Oto(f>6po<s) , homo 
divinus s. dominicus (avOpayn-os 0etos rj Kvpta/co?), etc. St. 
Augustine in his Retractationes recanted the phrase 
"homo dominicus" which he had employed in his earlier 
writings. 6 The Council of Ephesus decreed: "Si quis 
audeat dicere hominem Christum Theophorum, id est 
Deum ferentem 7 ac non potius Deum esse veraciter 8 dix- 
erit . . . anathema sit." 9 

history of Christology three phrases have become 
famous: (a) "Christus est sermts Dei" (SouAos 
cou) ; (2) "Umts de SS. Trinitate crucifixus 
est;" and (c) "Christus secundum humanitatem 
est omnipraesens" The first two of these locu 
tions admit of an orthodox interpretation, but the 

6 " Nunc mallem me non dixisse." 9 Cone. Ephesin., can. 5 ; cf r. 

7 Oeo(f)6pov avdpuirov Denzinger-Bannwart, Enchiridion, 

8 Qebv etj/cu Kara dXydeiav. n. 117. 


last is inadmissible because based on the Lutheran 
error of Ubiquitarianism. 

a) While it is true that St. Paul speaks only of the 
" form of a servant," 10 and nowhere directly refers to 
our Saviour as " servant of God," 1X the prophet Isaias 
expressly described the coming Messias as niiTinjJ (= 
servus Dei). The Adoptionists seized upon this phrase 
to support their false theory that, side by side with the di 
vine vtoTirjs, there exists in Christ a creatural SouAeta, which 
ceases only in virtue of a gracious vloOeaia or adoption on 
the part of God. Against this heretical teaching Pope 
Hadrian wrote in his decree approving the Council of 
Frankfort (A. D. 793) : " Adoptivum eum F ilium, quasi 
purum hominem, calamitati humanae subiectum, et quod 
pudet dicere, servum eum impii et ingrati tantis beneficiis 
liberatorem nostrum non pertimescitis venenosa fauce 
susurrare, . . . etsi in umbra prophetiae dictus est servus 
propter servilis formae conditionem, quam sump sit ex 
Virgine" 12 This dogmatic definition clearly states under 
what conditions it is permissible to speak of Christ as 
" servus Dei! The word " servus " may be taken hypo- 
statically in the sense of " Hypostasis Christi est serva," 
in contrary opposition to " Filius naturalis Dei," who, 
as such, cannot be a servant of His Father, with whom 
He is consubstantial. In this sense the use of the term 
is heretical. If, however, " servus Dei" be taken sub- 
stantively in the sense of "" Christus est servus Dei ratione 
naturae servae," in so far as, in His human nature, He 
owes obedience to the Father, of whom He Himself says : 

10 " Forma servi (//,op$7/ Sou- 12 Denzinger-Bannwart, Enchiri- 

Xou)." dion, n. 310. 

11 " Servus Dei (oi)Aos Geoi;)." 


"The Father is greater than I," the term is Scriptural 
and thoroughly orthodox. 13 

b) The formula: " Unus de SS. Trinitate crucifixus 
est" is also quite orthodox in itself, but was used in a 
heretical sense in the fifth century by Peter the Fuller, 
Bishop of Antioch and leader of the Theopaschitae. 
Peter held that the Godhead as such was crucified. In 
this sense the phrase was condemned by Pope Felix III 
(483-492). A. D. 519 the so-called Scythian monks, 
headed by John Maxentius, in their intemperate zeal 
for the purity of the faith against the Nestorians and 
Monophysites, vehemently demanded that the propo 
sition : " One of the Trinity suffered in the flesh," be 
made a shibboleth of orthodoxy and incorporated into 
the Creed of Chalcedon. Already at Constantinople the 
papal legates had declared that the Creed of Ephesus and 
Chalcedon was sufficiently explicit against the two here 
sies. August 13, 520, Pope Hormisdas wrote to Posses 
sor, an African bishop resident at Constantinople, se 
verely rebuking the quarrelsome spirit of the Scythian 
monks. 14 The hesitating attitude of Pope Hormisdas 
towards these fanatical monks did not mean that the 
Church condemned the formula in question, for not long 
after (A. D. 553) the Fifth General Council of Constan 
tinople declared that " Whoever does not profess that 
our Lord Jesus Christ, who was crucified in the flesh, is 
true God and the Lord of glory, and one of the Blessed 
Trinity, let him be anathema." 15 

13 Cfr. Suarez, De Incarn., disp. minum nostrum lesum Christum, qui 
44; Petavius, De Incarn., VII, 7; crucifixus est came, Deum esse ve- 
De Lugo, De Mysterio Incarn., disp. rum, et Dominum gloriae, et unum 
28 sect 3. de Sancta Trinitate (/cai eVa rijs 

14 Cfr. Bardenhewer-Shahan, Pa- &yias rpiaSos), talis a. s." (Can. 10. 
trology, p. S4 8. ** Denzinger-Bannwart, EnchM- 

15 "Si quis non confitetur, Do- dion,n. 222 ). On the affair of Pope 


That the Theopaschitae interpreted the formula in a 
Monophysitic sense, is evident from the fact that they 
added " qui crucifixus es pro nobis " to the ancient dox- 
ology, thereby insinuating that they believed the thrice 
holy Trinity, i. e., the Godhead itself, to have been cruci 
fied for us. The Church has ever abhorred this Theo- 
paschitic heresy, as appears from the Professio Fidei 
Orientalibus Praescripta drawn up by Urban VIII and 
Benedict XIV, which says : " Per quam definitionem 
[Concilii Chalcedonensis] damnatur impia haeresis illo- 
rum, qui Trisagio ab angelis tradito et in praefata Choice- 
donensi synodo decantato: Sanctus Deus, sanctus fortis, 
sanctus immortalis, miserere nobis addebant: qui cruci- 
fixus es pro nobis/ atque adeo divinam naturam trium per- 
sonarum passibilem asserebant et mortalem." 1C Even 
thus illegitimately expanded, the doxology could still be 
interpreted in an orthodox sense, provided it were under 
stood as relating to Christ alone and not to the whole 
Trinity ; for Christ, being true God, is " holy, strong, and 
immortal," and " was crucified for us " in the flesh. But 
the Church has always regarded this hymn as a profession 
of faith in the Blessed Trinity. 17 

c) The Lutheran doctrine of Ubiquitarianism origi 
nated in a wrong application of the communicatio idioma- 
tum. Luther wished to defend his teaching on the Holy 
Eucharist against Zwingli without having recourse to the 
Catholic dogma of transubstantiation. He was not sat 
isfied with saying, in conformity with the rules govern 
ing the Communication of Idioms, that " Christ is omni 
present," but falsified this true proposition by making it 

Hormisdas and the Scythian monks 16 Denzinger-Bannwart, Enchiri- 

see H. Grisar, S. J., History of dion, n. 1463. 

Rome and the Popes, Vol. II, pp. 17 Cfr. Is. VI, 3 ; Apoc. IV, 8. 

302 sqq., London 1912. See Franzelin, De Verbo Incarnato, 

p. 348, Rome 1910. 


read : " Christ, as man, i. e., according to His human 
nature, is omnipresent ; " nay, he went so far as to assert 
that " the body of Christ is omnipresent." The early 
Lutheran divines treated this ludicrous theory as an arti 
cle of faith and expounded it with a wealth of subtle 
distinctions; but in process of time its absurdity became 
so glaringly apparent that Ubiquitarianism was gradually 
dropped. 18 

Belief in the omnipresence of Christ s human nature, 
particularly His material body, is repugnant to com 
mon sense and to the teaching of Revelation. Holy 
Scripture treats the local circumscription (ubicatio lo- 
calis) of the body of Christ both during His earthly 
pilgrimage 19 and after His glorious Resurrection, 20 as a 
matter of course. The mysteries of our Saviour s life 
which are proposed to us as articles of faith in the Apos 
tles Creed (such as, e. g., His conception, His birth, His 
death, His burial, His descent into hell, His resurrection, 
etc.), would be utterly meaningless in the Ubiquist hy 
pothesis. " Unus idemque homo," says St. Fulgentius, 
" localis ex homine, qui est Deus immensus ex Patre" 21 
And the Second Council of Nicaea (A. D. 787) defines: 
" Si quis Christum Deum nostrum circumscriptum 22 non 
confitetur secundum humanitatem, 23 anathema sit." 24 

READINGS : * St. Thomas, S. TheoL, 3a, qu. 16, art. 1-12. 
Billuart, Summa S. Thomae, Tr. de Incarnatione, diss. 16. L. 
Janssens, De Deo-Homine, Vol. I, pp. 570 sqq., Friburgi 1901. 

18 Cfr. G. Esser in the Kirchen- 22 irepiypawTOV. 
lexikon, 2nd ed. Vol. XII, s. v. 23 Kara rb avOptiirivov. 

" Ubiquitatslehre." 24 Denzinger-Bannwart, n. 30. 

19 Cfr. Matth. XXVI, n; John For a detailed refutation of Ubiq- 
XI, 14-21, XVI, 28. uitarianism see Bellarmine, De 

20 Cfr. Matth. XXVIII, 5 sq.; Christo, 1. Ill, c. 9-20; L. Jans- 
Mark XVI, 6; Luke XXIV, 51; sens, De Deo-Homine, Vol. I, pp. 
Acts I, n, III, 21 ; Heb. VIII, i. 611 sqq.; Tepe, Instit. TheoL, Vol. 

21 Ad Trasam., II, 17. Ill, pp. 551 sqq. 


The teaching of the Fathers is fully expounded by Petavius, De 
Incarnatione, IV, 15-16, and * Stentrup, Christologia, thes. 37 
sqq., Oeniponte 1882. Cfr. also Wilhelm-Scannell, A Manual of 
Catholic Theology, Vol. II, pp. 108 sqq., 2nd ed., London 1901. 



wards the close of the eighth century, Archbishop 
Elipandus, of Toledo, and his disciple Felix, 
Bishop of Urgel in Catalonia, taught that there 
is a twofold filiation in Christ, and that, as 
man, He is not the natural, but only an adopted 
Son of God. The Adoptionists appealed to Holy 
Scripture, to the writings of Isidore of Sevilla, 
and to certain ambiguous phrases in the Mozara- 
bic liturgy in support of their false teaching. 

b) Contemporary theologians of the stamp of 
Beatus of Astorga, Agobard of Lyons, Paulinus 
of Aquileja, Richbod of Treves, and especially 
Alcuin, soon perceived that the doctrine of a 
twofold filiation involved the heresy of a double 
personality in Christ, and that, consequently, 
Adoptionism was merely a new form of Nestori- 
anism. Pope Hadrian the First took the same 
view. In a dogmatic epistle (A. D. 785) he 
warned the Spanish bishops against the poisonous 
doctrines of Elipandus and his followers, "who 


do not blush to affirm that the Son of God is an 
adopted son, a blasphemy which no other here 
tic has dared to enunciate, except the perfidious 
Nestorius, who claimed that the Son of God is a 
mere man." 1 Adoptionism was solemnly con 
demned at a council held "by Apostolic authority" 
in Frankfort, A. D. 794. 2 

Since Adoptionism is little more than a thinly veiled 
Nestorianism, it is scarcely necessary to enter into its 
refutation after what we have said against the latter 
heresy. 3 

Felix and Elipandus succeeded in veiling the heretical 
implications of their teaching by a dialectic device, which 
logic enables us to expose by means of the so-called 
supposition of terms. " Even where we are dealing with 
one and the same univocal term, there are various ways 
in which it may be construed. The same term may stand 
for something different." * Thus, in the proposition : 
" Christ as man is the true and natural Son of God," 
the phrase " as man " may be construed as meaning 
" Christ according to His humanity," 5 or " Christ re 
garded as this particular man." 6 In the last-mentioned 
case " this particular man " is identical with the Divine 

1 Cfr. Denzinger-Bannwart, En- Vol. I. Cfr. also the Kirchenlexi- 
chiridion, n. 299. kon, 2nd ed., Vol. I, 242 sqq. 

2 Denzinger-Bannwart, n. 311 sqq. 3 Supra, pp. 89 sqq. 

Cfr. H. K. Mann, The Lives of 4 G. H. Joyce, S. J., Principles 

the Popes in the Early Middle Ages, of Logic, pp. 37 sq., London 1908. 

Vol. I, Part II, pp. 439 sqq., Lon- 6 = secundum humanitatem. This 

don 1902. On the Neo-Adoptionism is what logicians call the sensus 

of Abelard and the qualified Adop- formalis reduplicativus. 

tionism of certain later theologians 6 j= ut hie homo. This is techni- 

see J. F. Sollier, art. " Adoption- cally called the sensus specificativus. 
ism " in the Catholic Encyclopedia, 


Hypostasis of the Logos, and thus understood the prop 
osition is unexceptionable. But to assert, as the Adop- 
tionists did, that " Christ [regarded as this particular 
man] is the Son of God not by generation, but by adop 
tion, not by nature, but by grace," 7 is to assert the exist 
ence of two persons in Christ and to deny the Hypostatic 
Union of the two natures. Hence the dogmatic prin 
ciple : " Christ, regarded as this particular man, is not 
an adoptive but the natural Son of God," 8 is merely 
an application of the doctrine of the Communication of 

a) Adoptionism is unscriptural. The Bible 
nowhere refers to Jesus as the adopted Son of 
God, but consistently calls Him the true, the only- 
begotten, and the only Son of God in the strict 
sense of these terms. 

When, e. g., St. John speaks of " the only-begotten Son 
of God who is in the bosom of the Father," 9 he evidently 
refers to Jesus. St. Paul, too, in teaching: God 
" spared not even his own Son, but delivered him up for 
us all," 10 plainly says that the Person who was delivered 
up was God s own (i. e., natural) Son. And when 
Jesus after His baptism emerged from the Jordan, the 
voice of the Father spoke from heaven : " This is my 
beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." xl 

The Adoptionists appealed to Rom. I, 4 : " Who was 
predestinated the Son of God (opio-fleVos viov eoi5)." 
He who is predestined to be the Son of God, they ar- 

1 " Christum [ut hunc hominem] 8 " Christus, ut hie homo, est 

non genere esse Filium Dei, sed Filius Dei naturalis, non adoptivus." 

adoptione, non natura, sed gratia." 9 John I, 18. 

Cfr. Denzinger-Bannwart, Enchiri- 10 Rom. VIII, 32. 

dion, n. 311. n Matth. Ill, 17. 


gued, cannot be the natural Son of God, but a son 
by grace only, i. e., by adoption. The majority of the 
Greek Fathers, 12 however, do not interpret 6piv in the 
sense of "predestine" (-rrpoopi&iv) , but in the sense of 
" show," " prove," " demonstrate, " and they translate the 
Pauline text as follows : " The Son of God was shown 
(demonstrated, proved) to be such by His resurrection." 
This interpretation is borne out by the context. 13 But 
even if we accept the word " praedestinatus," which is 
supported by the authority of the Vulgate, the Latin 
Fathers, Irenaeus, and Epiphanius, as a correct trans 
lation of bpiaOivTos, Rom. I, 4 furnishes no argument 
in favor of Adoptionism. The obvious meaning of the 
text would then be : " The man Jesus was predestined 
by the Hypostatic Union to be the natural Son of God." 
Or, as St. Augustine puts it: "Jesus was predestined, 
so that He who was to be the Son of David according 
to the flesh, should yet be in power the Son of God." ] 
The notion that the only-begotten Son of God was pre 
destined to be an adoptive son of His Father, is posi 
tively repugnant to the Christological teaching of St. 
Paul. 15 

b) The earlier Fathers had implicitly rejected 
Adoptionism in their teaching on the Hypostatic 

a) Many relevant Patristic texts have been collected by 
Alcuin in his Liber adversus Haeresin Felicis. 1 * St. 

12 E. g., St. Chrysostom, Horn, in nem filius David, esset tamen in 
Rom., II, n. 2. virtute Filius Dei." (De Praedest. 

13 Cfr. the commentary of Estius Sanctor., XV, n. 31.) 

upon this passage; also Suarez, De 15 Cfr. Pohle-Preuss, The Divine 

Incarn., disp. 50, sect. 2. Trinity, pp. 56 sqq. 

14 " Praedestinatus est ergo lesus, 16 Reprinted in Migne, P. L., CI, 
ut qui futurus erat secundum car- 87 sqq. 


Augustine appeals to the Bible. " Read, therefore, the 
Scriptures," he says, " nowhere will you find it said that 
Christ is a Son by adoption." 17 St. John of Damas 
cus says in a recently discovered treatise against the Nes- 
torians : " We confess, therefore, in regard to our Lord 
Jesus Christ, who is one of the Holy Trinity [that He 
has] two natures, each perfect according to its own defini 
tion and concept, lest we introduce a change or commix 
ture, but only one hypostasis, lest we allow a duality of 
persons and a fourth person to slip into the Trinity. For 
the nature constitutes [not causally, but formally] an 
other [being], while the hypostasis determines another 
[one and a] person." Professor Fr. Diekamp of Mini 
ster, to whom we are indebted for our knowledge of this 
treatise, comments on it as follows : " Damascene s pur 
pose is to demonstrate the unity of the Divine Hypo- 
stasis. He begins by introducing one argument on 
which all others depend, namely, that the assumption 
of two hypostases in Christ would necessarily entail the 
assumption of a twofold sonship and of a fourth person 
in the Godhead." 18 

/?) The only Patristic objection that can be urged 
against our dogma is drawn from the writings of 
St. Hilary. " Potestatis dignitas non amittitur," he 

17 Contr. Secund. Manich., 5 : rptddos, Svo per 00(7ets, 

" Lege itaque Scripturas, nusquam reXeiav Kara rbv eavrijs opov re 

invenies de Christo dictum, quod /cat \6yov, iva /AT) TpoirT]v 7) 

adoptione sit filius." Cfr. also his <rvyxvo~ii> etffdr/tafiey f fj,iai> 5e TTJJ/ 

Tract, in loa., VII, 4: " Oportebat viroaraaiv, iva fj.r) Svdda viuv Kal 

ergo ut ille baptizaret, qui est Filius reraprov ry rpiddi irapeiffevey- 

Dei unicus, non adoptatus. Adop- Kupev irpoauirov. ^ (JLCV yap (pvffis 

tati Filii ministri sunt unici; unicus ciXXo Troiet, rj de VTrocrraffiS a\\ov 

habet potestatem, adoptati ministe- KCLL irpoawirov d0optfet-" Cfr. The- 

rium." ologische Quartalschrift (Tubingen), 

18 Here is the passage in the 1901, pp. 561 sqq. On the subject- 
original Greek: " QfJ.o\oyovfJ.ei> matter of this paragraph the stu- 
roiyapovv eirl TOV Kupt of r)/Jiwv dent may consult Petavius, De In- 
Ir]<rov Xpiffrov, TOV evos rrjs ayias earn., VII, 2 sqq. 


says, " dum carnis humilitas adoptatur." 19 But, as St. 
Thomas points out, adoptatur in this passage can only 
refer to the union of Christ s human nature with the 
Person of the Divine Logos. 20 This interpretation is in 
perfect accord with another passage from the same work 
where St. Hilary says : " Multi nos filii Dei, sed non 
tails hie Filius; hie enim et verus et proprius est Fi 
lius, origine, non adoptione, veritate, non nuncupatione, 
nativitate, non creatione." 21 It is indeed true that the 
Mozarabic liturgy contains such expressions as " adoptio 
Christi" and refers to Jesus as "homo adoptivus" ; but 
it nowhere employs the term " filius adoptivus and the 
context shows that adoptare is used for assumere, homo 
adoptivus being therefore equivalent to homo assumptus, 
i. e. incarnatus. 

mental fallacy of Adoptionism is brought into 
clearer light by the Scholastic controversies which 
arose over two cognate questions, namely: (i) 
Is there room for a second filiation based on grace 
besides the natural sonship of Christ resulting 
from the Hypostatic Union? and (2) Is the Di 
vine Sonship of Jesus Christ based on more than 
one title ? 

a) Durandus 22 and numerous Scotist theologians 2S 
admit that Jesus, as this specific man, was the natural 

19 De Trinit., II, 27. Other re- humanae naturae ad personam 
censions have adoratur instead of Filii." 

adoptatur. l\De Trinit., Ill, n. 

20 5". Theol., 3a, qu. 23, art. 4, 22 Comment, in Quatuor Libras 
ad 4: " Impropria est locutio, et Sent., Ill, dist. 4, qu. i. 
accipitur ibi adoptatio pro unione 23 Scotus himself seems to have 


and not merely an adopted Son of God, 24 but contend 
that there was room for a second filiation, parallel 
to the first, and resulting from grace. It is the essen 
tial function of sanctifying grace, they argued, to elevate 
him in whom it indwells to the state of adoptive son- 
ship. But sanctifying grace indwelled in the human soul 
of Christ. Consequently, Christ, as man, is not only 
the natural Son of the Father, but also an adoptive Son 
of the Trinity. This view, while not identical with the 
Adoptionist heresy of Felix and Elipandus, 25 is false and 
dangerous. The same arguments which Pope Hadrian 
the First and the Council of Frankfort marshalled 
against Adoptionism can be effectively urged against 
Durandus theory of Christ s adoptive sonship. Adop 
tion is commonly defined with St. Thomas as " an act 
of grace by which a stranger is constituted or installed 
as son and heir." 26 Therefore, " Christ cannot be called 
the adopted Son of God, except it be supposed that he 
is not one Person with the Logos, or that the Logos, by 
assuming human nature, lost His natural Sonship and 
became something foreign to God." 27 He who is by 
nature the Son of God, cannot become an adopted son by 
grace, because He already possesses more than the rights 
and privileges which adoption confers. Hence the Coun 
cil of Frankfort says : " Adoptivus did non potest nisi is 
qui alienus est ab eo, a quo dicitur adoptatus," 2S i. e., 
Adoption presupposes that the person to be adopted is not 

been guilty of inconsistency in his traneae in filium et haeredem 
treatment of this question. gratuita assumptio," S. Theol., 33., 

24 They were ignorant of the de- qu. 23, art. i. 

cision of the Council of Frankfort, 27 Wilhelm-Scannell, A Manual 

but held its doctrine. of Catholic Theology, Vol. II, p. 

25 As Vasquez asserts in his Com- 128. 

mentary on the Summa Theologica 28 Cfr. Hardouin, Condi., IV, 

of St. Thomas, p. 3, disp. 89. 875. 

26 " Adoptio est personae ex- 


a son but a stranger to the adopting Father. It follows 
that Christ possessed sanctifying grace, which elevates 
men to the dignity of " children of God," merely as an 
ornament, 29 because, in the words of Suarez, He " was 
incapable of being adopted." 30 This idea is emphasized 
by the Council of Frankfort : " Unde in Dei Filium non 
cadit nomen adoptionis } quia semper verus Filius, sem 
per Dominus, ac per hoc et post assumptum hominem veri 
Filii vocabulum non amisit, qui numquam verus desiit 
esse Filius." 31 

Holy Scripture and the Fathers never predicate adop 
tive sonship of Christ. On the contrary, they accentuate 
the fact that, whereas men are children of God by law 
(i. e., by adoption), Christ is the natural Son of God in 
the true and strict sense of the term. 32 

b) Suarez 33 and Vasquez 34 take a different view. They 
reject the idea of adoptive filiation and contend that as 
Christ s eternal ye w/o-is is inadequate to explain His Divine 
Sonship, there must be a secondary reason why, as man, 
He is the natural Son of God. This secondary reason, ac 
cording to their theory, which they base on Heb. I, 2, is 
the state of grace proper to Christ, as man, by virtue of 
the Hypostatic Union. It is this state of grace which en 
tails the " divine heritage." This supplementary divine 
filiation does not, however, rest on generation in the strict 
sense of the term, and hence Suarez and Vasquez are 

29 Ornatus. Kara ^ifjLr}ffiv Kara tf>vaiv apa 

so De Incarn., disp. 49, sect. 2, /cai Kara a\ri0eiav avrbs We 

n. 5. have been called sons of God by 

si See Hardouin, Condi., IV, adoption and imitation, but He [is 

877. Cfr. also De Lugo, De Myst. the Son of God] in nature and 

Incarn., disp. 31, sect. i. truth." Cfr. Billuart, De Incarn., 

32 Thus Cyril of Alexandria, diss. 21, art. 2, 3. 

In Zoo., I, 12 (Migne, P. G., 33 De Incarn., disp. 49, sect, i sq. 

LXXIII, 153): viol 5e ridels KC- 3 i Comment, in S. Th., Ill, disp. 

K\rjfJ.e0a Qeov Kara Biaiv /cat 89, c. 14. 



constrained to admit two preposterous and indemonstra 
ble corollaries : ( I ) that, side by side with natural filia 
tion in Christ there exists another, which is figurative or 
analogical ; and (2) that the man Jesus is the natural Son 
not only of the Father, but of the whole Blessed Trin 
ity. Vasquez appeals to Pope Hadrian s remark that 
the exclamation " This is my beloved Son " proceeded 
from the whole Trinity, and not from the Father alone, 
and that it was addressed to Christ as man rather than 
as God. But Hadrian does not say that the Trinity ad 
dressed Christ as its Son; he merely says that it ad 
dressed Him as " Son of the Father," and was well pleased 
in Him as such. The idea of a secondary natural filia 
tion based on Christ s humanity is as foreign to the 
Fathers as the notion of adoptive sonship which it entails. 
A secondary natural filiation in the strict sense can have 
its ontological cause only in generation by the Father ; in 
a figurative and analogical sense it is equivalent to that 
adoptive sonship which is based upon human sanctity 
and divine inheritance, and which Suarez and Vasquez 
reject. If the concept of Christ s natural (divine) son- 
ship be founded on something besides the relation of 
generation between Father and Son, the difficulties be 
come labyrinthine. If the eternal yeVi^ms were not the 
only source of natural sonship in the Godhead, the Holy 
Ghost, too, might be called the natural Son of God, and 
Christ, as man, would be the natural son of the Holy 
Ghost, nay of the Logos, and consequently His own Son. 
To escape such absurdities it is necessary to hold that 
natural divine sonship is based solely on eternal genera 
tion and not on the fact that " Christ as man is sanctified 
and has a title to the divine inheritance." 35 St. Thomas 
says : " Christus est Filius Dei secundum perfectam ra- 

35 Suarez, /. c., sect. 2, n. 30. 


tionem filiationis; unde quamvis secundum humanam na- 
turam sit creatus et iustificatus, non tamen debet did Fi- 
lius Dei neque ratione creationis neque ratione iustifica- 
tionis, sed solum ratione generations aeternae, secundum 
quam est Filius solius Patris. Et ideo nullo modo debet 
did Christus Filius Spiritus S. nee etiam totius Trini- 
tatis." 36 

The weakest point of the theory is the corollary, ex 
pressly admitted by Suarez, that Christ, as man, would 
have to be called " the natural Son of the Trinity." This 
preposterous idea is opposed to the teaching of St. Au 
gustine, 37 and especially to that of St. Fulgentius, who 
says : " Proinde non solum lesum Christum filium Trini- 
tatis omnino non didmus, sed etiam sic conntemur lesum 
Christum solius Dei Patris Filium, ut eum nullatenus 
se par emus. Magnae quippe impietatis est, alium put are 
Christum, alium lesum Christum, quum unus sit utique 
Dei et hominis Filius lesus Christus, Filius sell, solius Pa 
tris, non totius utique Trinitatis." 38 In vain do Suarez 
and Vasquez urge that if the Father or the Holy Ghost 
would become incarnate, either would thereby become 
Son of God, i. e., Son of the entire Trinity. " Such a 
man," retorts De Lugo, " would not be an adoptive son, 
because he would not be a stranger, nor a natural son, be 
cause not produced by natural generation." In virtue of 
the Communication of Idioms the incarnate Father would 
yet be none other than the Father, and the Holy Ghost 
none other than the Holy Ghost, though in His human 
nature each would appear as " Son of Man." 39 

36 S. TheoL, 33, qu. 32, art. 3. 39 De Lugo, De Myst. Incarn., 

37 Enchir., c. 38 sqq. disp. 31, sect. 3. 

38 Fragm. c. Fabian., c. 32. 


READINGS : De Lugo, De Mysterio Incarnationis, disp. 31, 
sect, i sqq. Enhuber, Dissert, de Haeresi Adoptianorum (Migne, 
P. L., CI). J. Bach, Dogmengeschichte des Mittelalters, Vol. I, 
pp. 102 sqq., Wien 1873. * Hef ele, Konsiliengeschichte, 2nd ed., 
Vol. Ill, pp. 630 sqq., Freiburg 1877. !. A. Ketterer, Karl der 
Grosse und die Kirche, Miinchen 1898. K. Giannoni, Paulinus 
II., Patriarch von Aquileja, Wien 1896. E. H. Limborgh, Alcu- 
inus als Bestrijder -van het Adoptianisme, Groningen 1901. 
Alzog-Pabisch-Byrne, Manual of Universal Church History, Vol. 
II, pp. 174 sqq., Cincinnati 1899. T. Gilmartin, Manual of Church 
History, Vol. I, 3rd ed., Dublin 1909. Wilhelm-Scannell, A Man 
ual of Catholic Theology, Vol. II, 2nd ed., pp. 126 sqq., London 
1901. H. K. Mann, The Lives of the Popes in the Early Middle 
Ages, Vol. I, Part II, pp. 439 sqq., London 1902. 



In consequence of the Hypostatic Union, Jesus 
Christ was more than an ordinary man. The di 
vine element in Him, not as an inherent form 
(forma inhaerens) but per modum effectus, over 
flowed into His sacred humanity and conferred 
upon it an altogether unique dignity, (i) His 
will was distinguished by extraordinary ethical 
perfection or holiness; (2) His intellect com 
manded an unusual wealth of human knowledge ; 
(3) His entire manhood with all its essential and 
integral constituents was and is worthy of divine 



All that we have said in a previous treatise 1 of the 
ethical goodness or sanctity of God, applies to Christ 
in so far as He is God. In the present Article we are 
concerned only with the human holiness of our Lord, that 

i God: His Knowability , Essence, and Attributes, St. Louis 1911, 
pp. 251 sqq. 



is to say, the holiness of His created soul, or, more 
specifically, of one particular faculty of that soul, namely, 
His will. The formality of holiness, i. e., the char 
acter wherein exactly it consists, is "exemption from 
sin combined with rectitude of moral conduct." 2 Bear 
ing this definition in mind, we proceed to prove the 
holiness of Christ s humanity in a systematic series of 
theses, in which we shall bring out (i) the negative 
element of holiness, i. e., sinlessness, and (2) its posi 
tive element, i. e., moral purity. 

Thesis I: Christ, as man, was exempt from orig 
inal sin and concupiscence. 

This thesis is of faith in both its parts. 

Proof. Christ s freedom from original sin is 
defined in the Decretum pro lacobitis of Pope 
Eugene IV (1439) "Qui sine peccato concep- 
tus, natus et mortuus humani generis hostem pec- 
cata nostra delendo solus sud morte prostravit." 3 

Freedom from original sin implies freedom 
from all the evil consequences thereof, espe 
cially from concupiscence (foines peccati). "Si 
quis defendit Theodorum impiissimum Mopsue- 
stenum, qui dixit, alium esse Deum Verbum et 
alium Christum a passionibus animae et concupi- 
scentiis carnis molestias patient em } tails anathema 
sit says the Fifth General Council of Constan 
tinople. 4 

2 Ibid. 4 Held A. D. 553. Cfr. Denzin- 

3 Cfr. Denzinger-Bannwart, Enchi- ger-Bannwart, Enchiridion, n. 224. 
ridion, n. 711. 


a) That Christ was actually and by right free 
from original sin appears from all those Scrip 
tural texts which in general terms aver His sin- 
lessness and impeccability, or specially emphasize 
the fact that He appeared in the flesh for the pur 
pose of expiating the inherited guilt which 
weighed upon the human race. Had He been 
tainted by original sin, He would not have been 
the "lamb unspotted and undefiled," 5 nor would 
He have been able to take away "the sin of the 
world," 6 for the sin of the world is original sin, 
and it is impossible to assume that He who was 
destined to take away original sin was tainted by 
it Himself. For this reason St. Paul, who re 
peatedly ascribes to the Godman genuine "flesh," 
(i. e. f a human nature), never calls this flesh 
"sinful." Cf r. Rom. VIII, 3 : "God sending his 
own Son, in the likeness of sinful flesh and of sin, 
hath condemned sin in the flesh." In drawing a 
parallel 7 between Adam, the first man, who was 
"of the earth, earthly," 8 and Christ, the second 
Adam, who was "from heaven, heavenly," 9 the 
Apostle virtually excludes original sin from the 
Godman; else the parallel would be absolutely 

5 i Pet. I, 19: dfJivbs a(iwfj.os Kdl 1 i Cor. XV, 47. On this parallel 
ao-TTtXos Cfr. Wilhelm-Scannell, see F. Prat, La Theologie de Saint 
Manual , Vol. II, pp. 132 sq. Paul, Vol. II, ^pp. 261 

6 John I, 29: TT}V &p.apTiav rov 8 a.v6pwtros e/c 7775 



The Fathers regarded Christ s freedom from original 
sin as a self-evident corollary flowing from His divine 
dignity and the origin of His human nature. As man 
no less than as God Christ is the natural Son of God, 
and to assert that He was conceived in original sin 
would be equivalent to affirming that the Divine Logos 
was tainted by sin. " God alone is without sin," says 
Tertullian, " and the only man without sin is Christ, be 
cause Christ is God." 10 Another argument may be for 
mulated thus: Original sin can be transmitted in no 
other way than by natural, i. e., sexual generation. But 
Christ was conceived by the Holy Ghost and born of a 
virgin. Consequently He can not be tainted by orig 
inal sin. 11 

b) If Christ was conceived without original 
sin, He must have been exempt from concupis 
cence domes peccati). This conclusion is so 
patent that even the heretics (Apollinarists and 
Monothelites, for instance) who denied Him in 
tellect (vov?) and a human will (tfeA^w), did not 
venture to charge Him with moral imperfection. 

" If any one believe that the flesh of Christ lusted 
against the spirit," exclaims St. Augustine, " let him be 
anathema." 12 The temptations of Christ recorded in 

10 " Solus Deus sine peccato, et ecce Agnus Dei. Non habet iste 
solus homo sine peccato Christus, traducem de Adam; carnem tantum 
quia et Deus Christus." (De Ani- suscepit de Adam, peccatum non as- 
ma > 4i.) sumpsit. Qui non assumpsit de 

11 " Non enim in iniquitate con- nostra massa peccatum, ipse est qui 
ceptus est, quia non de mortalitate tollit nostrum peccatum." (St. Au- 
conceptus est. Nee eum in peccatis gustine, Tr. in loa., IV, c. i.) 
mater eius in utero aluit, quern 12 " Quisquis credit, carnem 
virgo concepit, virgo peperit: quia Christi contra spiritum concupivisse, 
fide concepit, fide suscepit. Ergo anathema sit." (Op. Imperf., IV, 


Sacred Scripture were external occasions or suggestions 
which did not elicit consent or delectation, but were 
promptly repulsed (" Begone, Satan! "). " God who, by 
becoming incarnate in the womb of the Virgin, had en 
tered this world without sin, tolerated no contradiction in 
Himself. While it was possible, therefore, for Him to 
be tempted by suggestion, no sinful delectation ever en 
tered His soul." 13 

Thesis II : Christ was free from all personal sin. 

The truth embodied in this thesis is an article 
of faith. 

Proof. The actual sinlessness of our Lord 
(impeccantia) is unquestionably an article of 
faith. "Si quis dicit" says the Council of Ephe- 
sus, "et pro se obtulisse semetipsum oblationem 
et non potius pro nobis solis non enim eguit 
oblatione, qui peccatum omnino nescivit, ana 
thema sit If any one assert that Christ sacri 
ficed Himself for Himself, and not for us alone, 
for He who was absolutely free from sin had 
no need of sacrifice let him be anathema." 14 
The Council of Chalcedon calls Him "like unto 
us in all things except sin." 

47.) Other Patristic texts in Pe- 14 Cone. Ephes. (A. D. 431), can. 
tavius, De Incarn., XI, n. 10. Cfr. Denzinger-Bannwart, En- 
is St. Gregory the Great, Horn. chiridion, n. 122. 

in Ev., XVI (Migne, P. L., is " Per omnia nobis simile m 

LXXVI, 1135). Cfr. also St. absque peccato." Cone. Chalced. 

Thomas, S. Theol., 33, qu. 15, art. (A. D. 451). Cfr. Denzinger-Bann- 

2; Suarez, De Incarn., disp. 34, wart, n. 148. 
sect. 2; De Lugo, De Myst. Incarn., 
disp. 26, sect. 4. 


Even without these plain ecclesiastical defini 
tions the sinlessness of Christ would have to be 
received as a revealed dogma, because it is ex 
pressly taught in Holy Scripture. The prophet 
Isaias says of the coming Messiah: "He hath 
done no iniquity, neither was there deceit in his 
mouth," 16 and the Archangel Gabriel declares to 
the Virgin Mary: "Quod nascetur ex te sanc 
tum 17 vocabitur Filius Dei The Holy which 
shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of 
God." 18 St. Paul declares that Christ "knew no 
sin," and says 19 that, though He was "tempted 
in all things like as we are," 20 He yet remained 
"without sin." 21 In another place he describes 
our Lord as "holy, innocent, undefiled, separated 
from sinners." 22 No man ever dared to chal 
lenge his accusers as Jesus did according to the 
testimony of the fourth Evangelist. John VIII, 
4.6: "Quis ex vobis arguet me de peccato? 
Which of you shall convince me of sin?" His 
whole life was so pure that thousands have at 
tained to sainthood by following Him. In fact, 
there is no other way of being delivered from 
blindness of heart than by "endeavoring to con 
form one s life wholly to the life of Christ." 23 

16 Is. LIU, 9. Cfr. i Pet. II, 22: 20 /ca0 o/iOtoT^ra = similiter ac 
" Who did no sin, neither was guile nos* 

found in his mouth." 21 ^wpis afiaprias. 

17 7-6 yevv(i}/j.evov e/c crov ayiov. 2 2 " Sanctus, innocens, impol- 

18 Luke I, 35. lutus, segregates a peccatoribus." 
19Heb. IV, 15. (Heb. VII, 26.) 

23 Thomas a Kempis, The Imita- 


Thesis III: Christ as man, was incapable of sin 

This proposition is fidei proximo,. 

Proof. In our Second Thesis we proved 
Christ s sinlessness (impeccantla). We now 
proceed to demonstrate His impeccability (im 
peccabilitas) 9 which the Vatican Council intended 
to define as an article of faith. 24 

Theologians are not fully agreed as to the true concep 
tion of Christ s " impeccability." We may distinguish 
three leading opinions. ( I ) The shallowest one, least in 
harmony with Catholic belief, is that held by Anton 
Giinther, who, in order to safeguard Christ s free-will, 
maintained that He was impeccable because God fore 
saw from all eternity that He would never actually sin. 25 
(2) Durandus, Scotus, and the Nominalists contended 
that our Lord s impeccability was founded, not on an in 
trinsic quality of His will, but on an extrinsic disposition 
of Divine Providence by which His will, which was in 
itself capable of committing sin, was prevented from 
yielding to temptation. This is what is called the theory 
of external impeccability. 26 Because of its consonance 
with the Scotistic doctrine of the impeccability of the 
Elect in Heaven, 27 this rather unsatisfactory theory is ex- 

tion of Christ, Ch. i. On the lectio Lacensis, VII, 560): " Non 

" Spiritual Sense of the Imitation " solum non peccavit, sed nee peccare 

see Brother Azarias, Phases of potuit." 

Thought and Criticism, pp. 89 sqq., 25 This is called impeccabilitas 

New York 1896. For the argu- consequens. 

ment from Tradition the reader is 26 Impeccabilitas externa. 

referred to the Patristic texts 2T Impeccabilitas beatorum. Cfr. 

quoted below in support of Thesis the dogmatic treatise on Eschatol- 

III. ogy. 
24 Cfr. Schema Constit. Vat. (Col- 


pressly secured against theological censure by a decree of 
Paul V. (3) The third opinion is that of Peter Lom 
bard, 28 adopted by St. Thomas, 29 and championed by his 
entire school as well as by all Jesuit theologians. It holds 
that Christ is impeccable by virtue of an intrinsic quality 
of the will resulting from the Hypostatic Union of the 
two natures. This is called impeccabUitas internet. 

a) The Bible does not expressly teach the im 
peccability of our Divine Saviour, but the texts 
we have quoted in support of His sinlessness go 
far towards proving that He was incapable of 
sinning. The Fathers and the early councils of 
the Church unanimously uphold the impeccability 
of our Divine Redeemer and trace it to the Hypo- 
static Union. 

St. Cyril of Alexandria, e. g., says : " All those who 
maintain that Christ was able to commit sin I know 
not how are foolish and destitute of reason." 30 St. 
Augustine teaches that the Hypostatic Union makes it 
impossible for Christ to sin. " It was by this [the grace 
of God]," he says, "that a man, without any antecedent 
merit, was at the very moment of His existence as man 
so united in one person with the Word of God, that 
the very person who was Son of man was at the same 
time Son of God, and the very person who was Son of 
God was at the same time Son of man; and by the 
adoption of His human nature into the divine, the grace 
itself became in a way so natural to the man as to leave 
no room for the entrance of sin." 31 Similarly St. Leo 

28 Lib. Sent., Ill, dist. 12. 31 Enchiridion c. 40: ". . . ut 

29 S. Theol., 33, qu. 15, art. i. idem ipse esset Filius Dei qui filius 

30 Anthropom., c. 23. hominis et filius hominis qui Filius 


the Great : " For we should not be able to vanquish the 
author of sin and death, were it not for the fact that 
our nature was assumed and appropriated by Him whom 
sin cannot sully and death cannot claim." 32 Fulgentius 
teaching on this point is distinguished by extraordinary 
clearness. " The Godhead cannot be overcome," he says, 
" therefore also the humanity of Christ remained with 
out sin, because it was assumed into the Godhead, which 
of its very nature is incapable of committing sin." ; 
In conformity with the teaching of the Fathers the Sixth 
Ecumenical Council (680) denned: " Sicut enim eius 
caro Dei Verbi dicitur et est, ita et naturalis carnis eius 
voluntas propria Dei Verbi 3 * dicitur et est; . . . hu- 
mana eius voluntas deificata 35 non est perempta, salvata 
est autem magis secundum deiloquum Gregorium dicen- 
tem: Nam illius velle, quod in Salvatore intelligitur, 
non est contrarium Deo, deificatum totum " 

b) The theological reasons for Christ s impec 
cability are trenchantly set forth by St. Thomas 
as follows : "Simpliciter loquendo Christus nun- 
quam potuit peccare. Potest enim considerari ut 
viator vel ut comprehensor [scil. per visionem 

Dei: ac sic in naturae humanae sus- 33 Ad Trasam., Ill, 29: "Deltas 

ceptione fieret quodammodo ipsa non potest superari; propterea uti- 

gratia illi homini naturalis, quae nul- que etiam Christi humanitas sine 

lum peccatum possit admittere." peccato permansit, quia earn in uni- 

(Cfr. St. Augustine, De Corr. et tate personae divinitas accepit, quae 

Grat., XI, 30; De Praedest. Sanctor., naturaliter peccare non novit." 

XV, 30). 3 * 0e\ 7/".a. tdtov TOV Qeov Aoyov. 

32 Ep. Dogmat. ad Flavian., c. 2 : 35 0e\77//a Bewdev. 

" Non enim superare possemus pec- 36 Cfr. Denzinger-Bannwart, En- 

cati ct mortis auctorem, nisi na- chiridion, n. 291. Other proofs can 

turam nostram ille susciperet et be found in Petavius, De Incarn., 

suam faceret, quam nee peccatum XI, n; Vasquez, Comment, in S. 

contaminare nee mors potuit de- Th., Ill, disp. 61, c. 3; Suarez, De 

tinere." Incarn., disp. 35, sect. 2. 


beatific am} vel ut Deus. Ut viator quidem dux 
videtur esse dirigens nos secundum viam rectam; 
. . . secundum quod fuit comprehensor, mens 
eius totaliter est coniuncta fini. . . . Secundum 
autem quod fuit Deus, et anima et corpus eius 
fuerunt organum deitatis, . . . unde peccatum 
non poterat attingere ad eius animani, sicut nee 
Deus potest peccare." 3T Accordingly, the im 
peccability of Christ is based on these three 
grounds : ( i ) His mission as leader of the hu 
man race, (2) the fact that He always enjoyed 
the beatific vision, and (3) the Hypostatic Union 
of the two natures. Of these grounds the last 
is no doubt the strongest, in fact it is the only de 
cisive one among the three. On this account the 
Fathers laid particular stress on the considera 
tion that it would be just as reasonable to as 
sume that the Godhead is capable of sinning 
as that the Logos should permit His human na 
ture, which, in consequence of the Hypostatic 
Union, is entirely His own, to be tainted by even 
the slightest sin. 

Durandus tried to weaken the force of this conclu 
sion by objecting that sin is no more repugnant to the 
infinite holiness of the Logos than death is repugnant 
to His eternity. But it is contrary to Christian sen 
timent to say that the Logos, by virtue of the Communi 
cation of Idioms, is fully as capable of committing sin as 

37 Com. in Quatuor Libros Sent., Ill, dist. 12, qu. 2, art. i.\. 


He is of suffering and dying. Passibility is no disgrace, 
but sin is. Being a mere tnalum poenae, passibility may 
even, for the purposes of salvation, become a bonum, and 
as such be assumed into and sanctified by the Hypostatic 
Union. Sin, on the other hand, being a malum culpae, is 
absolutely and under all circumstances repugnant to the 
holiness of God. Hence there is no parity between death 
and sin. 38 

c) But if Christ could not sin, how can He be 
said to have had a free will? And how was it 
possible for Him to take upon Himself suffering 
and death voluntarily in expiation of our sins? 
This is a serious difficulty; indeed De Lugo does 
not hesitate to call it one of the gravest problems 
of theology. 39 

Despite our inability fully to reconcile these two 
truths, we must uphold our Lord s free will as staunchly 
as the reality of His human nature. Cfr. John X, 18: 
" Sed ego pono earn [scil. animam] a meipso, et po- 
testatem habeo 40 ponendi earn [scil. moriendi] et potesta- 
tem habeo iterum sumendi earn: hoc mandatum* 1 accepi 
a Patre meo But I lay it [i. e,, my life] down of my 
self, and I have power to lay it down [i. e., to die] ; and 
I have power to take it up again. This commandment 
have I received of my Father." 42 St. Augustine 
teaches : " The spirit of the Mediator showed how it 
was through no punishment of sin that He came to the 

38 Cfr. Tepe, Instit. Theol., Vol. giae." (De Myst. Incarn., disp. 26, 
III, pp. 582 sqq. ; Janssens, De Deo- sect. 2.) 

Homine, I, pp. 666 sqq.; Franzelin, 40 eovffiav %X W . 

De Verbo Incarnate, thes. 43. 41 evTO\T]v. 

39 " Una ex gravissimis theoh 42 Cfr. Is. LIII, 7. 


death of the flesh, because He did not leave it against 
His will, but because He willed, when He willed, as He 
willed." 43 

The difficulty of reconciling these two dogmas is well 
brought out by the following dilemma : In suffering for 
us, Christ, as man, either acted of His own free choice 
or not. If He was not free, His Passion lacked meri- 
toriousness and therefore had no power to redeem us. 
If He was free, He was able to rebel against the com 
mandment (mandatum) of the Father, i. e., to sin. Con 
sequently, it is necessary to deny either His free-will or 
His impeccability. 

The Scholastics have suggested a variety of theories 
to escape this dilemma. Francis Amicus, S. J., 44 enu 
merates no less than eleven different solutions, of which 
the eleventh can be formulated in seven different ways. 
In spite of this embarras de richesse no really satisfac 
tory solution of the difficulty has yet been found. We shall 
briefly review the more probable suggestions. 

a) One of the first attempts to solve the difficulty was 
made by Francis De Lugo (d. 1660). Though at first 
considered " singular," it subsequently obtained con 
siderable renown through the authority of Petavius, Pal- 
lavicini, Velasquez, Riva, and others. De Lugo held that 
neither the free-will of Christ nor the meritoriousness of 
His passion and death was affected by the " command 
ment of the Father," because this commandment was not 
a " precept " 45 binding strictly under pain of sin, but 
purely a paternal " wish," 46 which the Son accepted 
of His own free choice, and which by this acceptance, 

43 " Demonstravit spiritus Media- voluit." (De Trinit., IV, 13, 16.) 

toris, gttam nulla poena peccati us- 44 Died 1651. 

que ad mortem carnis accesserit, 45 Praeceptum. 

quia non earn deseruit invitus, sed 46 Beneplacitum. 
quia voluit, quando voluit, quomodo 


with the consent of the Father, from a conditional be 
came an absolute mode of redemption. 47 

This view seems to have been shared by St. Anselm. 48 
What are we to think of it? The rules of sound exe 
gesis will hardly permit us to regard the mandatum 
Patris as a mere beneplacitum, because throughout the 
New Testament mandatum (evroAr/) is employed as 
a technical term to describe a strict precept. 49 More 
over, in enforcing the duty of obedience to God s com 
mands, Christ never once makes an exception in His 
own favor. On the contrary, He expressly declares: 
" Si praecepta mea 50 servaveritis, manebitis in dilectione 
mea, sicut et ego Patris mei praecepta 51 servavi, et 
maneo in eius dilectione If you keep my command 
ments, you shall abide in my love, as I also have kept 
my Father s commandments, and do abide in his love." 52 
Our Divine Saviour Himself religiously practiced the 
virtue of obedience. Cfr. Phil. II, 8: "He humbled 
himself, becoming obedient unto death, even to the 
death of the cross." Obedience, in the words of St. 
Thomas, " is a special virtue, and its special object is 
a precept, tacit or expressed." 53 For these and other 
reasons De Lugo s theory is combated by the Thomists, 54 

47 " Praeceptum illud et manda- nibus profuturum intellexit, hoc 
turn, quod Christo Pater edidisse sponte fecit." (Medit. de Redempt., 
dicitur, , . . non absolution im- XI.) 

perium videtur fuisse, sed simplex 49 Cfr. Matth. V, 19, XXII, 36; 

significatio consilii ac voluntatis John X, 18, XII, 49. 

suae, qua multa illi proponebat 50 fas evTO\ds fiov, 

Pater ad humanam recuperandam 51 TOV irarpos fJiov ras ej/roXas. 

salutem remedia: ex quibus quod 52 John XV, 10. 

vellet eligeret, adeo ut, quidquid ex 53 " Obedientia est specialis -virtus 

omnibus capesseret, id sibi gratum et eius speciale obicctum est prae- 

esse ac placere monstraret." (Pe- ceptum taciturn vel expressum." 

tavius, De Incarn., IX, 8, 6.) (S. TheoL, za 2ae, qu. 104, art. 2.) 

48 " Non enim illi homini Pater, 54 Cfr. Billuart, De Incarn., diss. 
ut morcretur, cogendo praecepit, sed 18, art. 4, i. 

ille, quod Patri placiturum et homi- 



the Scotists, and many Jesuit theologians, e. g., Suarez, 
Vasquez, Gregory of Valentia, Toletus, John De Lugo, 55 
Chr. Pesch, and Tepe. 

/?) A second theory for solving the difficulty was ex 
cogitated by Ysambert, 58 and adopted by Gregory of 
Valentia, Vasquez, and Lessius. Cardinal Franzelin re 
gards it as equally probable with the one already dis 
cussed. 57 It may be summarized as follows: The 
Father (or the Blessed Trinity) enjoined upon the Son 
a rigorous precept to die, but the manner of its execution 
(time, place, motives, circumstances, etc.) was left to 
the Redeemer s own free decision. In other words: the 
" commandment " of the Father regarded only the sub 
stance of the atonement but left all accidental cir 
cumstances to the free determination of the Son. Or, in 
the technical language of the Schoolmen : While Christ s 
death was of strict precept in genere, not so its exe 
cution in individuo. But does not this theory un 
duly restrict the free will of our Blessed Redeemer by 
limiting it to the mode and circumstances of the di 
vine command? Ysambert and his followers met this 
objection by asserting that the innumerable circumstances 
surrounding its execution were so intimately bound up 
with the command itself that substance and accidents 
were really inseparable. Did not the holy martyrs, too, 
die freely for the faith, though they were condemned to 
death? Under the circumstances they could not have 
escaped martyrdom, yet it is accounted to them as a 
meritorious deed and they are rewarded for it. This 
explanation has the advantage that it does not do violence 

65 Cardinal John De Lugo was a 56 Comment, in S. Theol., Ill, qu. 

brother of P. Francis De Lugo. 18, disp. 2, art. 6. 

Both were eminent theologians and 57 De Verbo Incarnate, thes. 44. 
members of the Society of Jesus. 


to the Biblical term mandatum (evroA^). Nevertheless it 
is not altogether convincing. To assert that our Lord en 
joyed freedom of choice only with regard to the con 
crete circumstances of His death, is tantamount to ad 
mitting that He was not free to die or not to die. But 
Holy Scripture bases the value and meritoriousness of 
His death upon the substantia mortis as well as upon its 
modus. 58 Consequently this theory does not do full jus 
tice to the sense of Scripture. In the words of De Lugo : 
" Videtur non tribuendum Christo ad laudem, quod mor- 
tuus fuerit simpliciter et absolute . . . nee redemisse 
homines, quia mortuus, sed quia tune vel libentius vel ex 
tali motivo mortuus fuerit." 59 In spite of these objec 
tions, however, Ysambert s theory is not altogether devoid 
of probability. 

y) A third theory destined to reconcile free-will and 
impeccability in Christ is that of the early School 
men. They held that the human will of our Divine 
Saviour, though physically able to commit sin, attained 
impeccability by a continuous series of actual graces 
and was determined to a free though infallibly certain 
acceptation of the decree involving His death by one 
special grace of particular strength and effectiveness. 
Impeccability thus conceived, i. e., in consonance with 
free-will, is called "confirmation in grace" (confirmatio 
in gratia). We may suppose it to have been the happy 
lot of the Blessed Virgin also. St. Bonaventure ex 
plains the process thus: "Determinatio potentiae ad 
unum potest esse dupliciter, vid. per necessitatem na 
turae et per connrmationem gratiae. Si sit per neces 
sitatem naturae, tune tollit arbitrii liber tat em ac per hoc 
tollit dignitatem meriti. Si autem sit determinatio per 

58 Cfr. Is. LIII, 10; Phil. II, 8; 59 De Mysterio Incarn., disp. 26, 

Heb. XII, 2. sect. 7. 


confirmationem gratiae, quum tails confirmatio simul stet 
cum libera voluntate, sic non tollit ab ipso opere boni- 
tatem moris, quum sit voluntarium, ac per hoc nee quali- 
tatem meriti. In Christo autem fuit liberum arbitrium 
determinatum ad unum non per necessitatem naturae, 
sed per confirmationem gratiae." co Among the later 
Scholastics this particular theory was adopted by Molina, 61 
Suarez, 62 Lessius, and Tanner. Its leading defenders at 
the present time are Cardinal Billot 63 and Chr. Pesch. 64 
Though it is sufficiently plausible, most other theologians 
reject this theory, (i) because it were preposterous to ad 
mit that it was physically possible for Christ, who was the 
Divine Logos, to commit sin, and (2) because to ex 
plain Christ s impeccability otherwise than by the Hypo- 
static Union and the beatific vision, is equivalent to 
basing it on an inferior principle which might be ap 
plied to any saint. Against the former objection some 
advocates of this theory contend that, as the physical lib 
erty of committing sin is an essential attribute of every 
rational creature, it cannot be a reprehensible defect, and 
therefore is not repugnant to the Hypostatic Union, 
provided, of course, that the necessary measures be 
taken to prevent the power to sin from ever effectuating 
a sinful act under any circumstances. Of such neces 
sary measures, they add, " confirmation in grace " is the 
first and most effective. But this explanation is hardly 
tenable. It is far easier to refute the second objection. 
" Confirmation in grace " is really nothing else than a 
necessary effect of the Hypostatic Union, which postu 
lates with metaphysical necessity that the human will of 

60 Comment, in Quatuor Libros 62 De Incarn., disp. 37, sect. 3. 
Sent., Ill, dist. 18, art. i, qu. 2, 63 De Verbo Incarn., thes. 28. 

ad i. 64 Praelect. Dogmat., Vol. IV, 

61 Concord., disp. 53, membr. 4. pp. 180 sqq. 


Christ be endowed with intrinsic impeccability by all 
moral means at the command of an omnipotent God. 65 

8) There is a fourth theory which tries to harmonize 
the dogma of our Lord s free-will with that of His 
impeccability by asserting that He could have obtained 
from His Heavenly Father at any time a revocation 
of, or a dispensation from the rigorous mandate which 
commanded Him to die for the salvation of mankind. 
This theory is based mainly on Matth. XXVI, 53 : " An 
putas quia non possum rogare Patrem meum et exhibebit 
mihi modo plus quam duodecim legiones angelorum? 
Thinkest thou that I cannot ask my Father, and he 
will give me presently more than twelve legions of an 
gels ? " Though Pallavicini boasts of having publicly 
combated this opinion of his famous master De Lugo 
during the latter s life-time in Rome, it has yet found 
many adherents, among them Maurus Hurtado, Carle- 
ton, Mayr, Legrand, and more recently Tepe. 66 We are 
inclined to think that it effectively safeguards both the 
free-will and the impeccability of Christ. A precept re 
mains in force so long as the lawgiver does not dispense 
from it. On the other hand, to employ De Lugo s own 
words, "non potest maior libertas excogitari, quam ita 
acceptare mortem, ut posset non solum tune, sed nun- 
quam earn acceptare, . . . quia licet haberet praeceptum, 
poterat Christus impetrare facile ablationem praecepti." 67 

65 For a refutation of the diffi- Molinists. We shall discuss this 

culties arising from the Saviour s question more fully in our trea- 

impeccability as a result of the tise on Grace. Cfr. also Billuart, 

beatific vision, see Chr. Pesch, De Incar., diss. 18, art. 4, 2; 

Praelect. Dogmat., Vol. IV, pp. 187 Gonet, De Div. Verbi Incarn., disp. 

sqq. As regards the nature and 21, art. 3, n. 85; Bellarmine, De 

properties of the efficacious graces lustific., V, n. 

which condition, and ultimately ef- 66 Instit. Theolog., Vol. Ill, pp. 

feet, the state of " confirmation in 599 sqq. 

grace," they are differently ex- 67 De Myst. Incarn., disp. 26, 

plained by the Thomists and the sect. 8, n. 103. 


To this theory Velasquez, Chr. Pesch, and others oppose 
the following dilemma : " Either the mandatum mortis 
was an unconditional or it was a conditional command; 
if it was unconditional, no dispensation was possible ; if 
it was conditional, no dispensation was needed." But, 
as De Lugo 68 triumphantly shows against Velasquez, 
this argument proves too much and therefore proves 
nothing. Positive precepts, whether given to a com 
munity (as, e. g., monogamy) or to an individual (as, 
e. g., the command to Abraham to sacrifice his son), are 
never essentially irrevocable or indispensable. 69 

Thesis IV: The human nature of Christ, in virtue 
of the Hypostatic Union, was and is substantially sanc 
tified by the increate holiness of the Divine Logos. 

This thesis is held by nearly all theological 

Proof. By substantial sanctity we do not 
understand sanctifying grace, 70 but that peculiar 
holiness which was effected in the human soul of 
Christ by its incorporation with the Divine Logos 
in the Hypostatic Union. The only school of the 
ologians who demur to this thesis are the Scotists. 
They assert that the holiness of Christ was acci 
dental, i. e. } solely due to sanctifying grace. 71 
Because of this Scotistic opposition our thesis 
cannot be qualified as a theological conclusion, 

68 Op. cit., sect. 9. Vol. Ill, pp. 599 sqq. 

69 For a refutation of certain 70 Sanctitas accidentalis. 

other objections raised against this 71 Cfr., e. g., Fr. Henno, Theol. 

theory we must refer the student to Dogmat., disp. 14, qu. i, art. i sq. 
G. B. Tepe, Institutiones Theol., 


but is merely communis in the technical sense of 
the term. 

Under the rules which govern the Communication of 
Idioms, 72 the " increate sanctity " of the Logos appears 
to be as intransferable as His immensity or omnipotence. 
Why, then, do Catholic theologians, who reject the 
Lutheran doctrine of ubiquity, 73 make an exception in 
favor of the attribute of sanctity? We shall try to 
explain this seeming inconsistency. 

It is true that the divine sanctity of the Logos is no 
more capable of being transferred to a mere creature 
than any other divine attribute. On the other hand, how 
ever, the manhood united with the Logos, by the very 
fact of becoming " the second nature " of one of the 
Three Divine Persons, must be infinitely pleasing to 
God, and, consequently, infinitely holy, even in the hy 
pothesis that it were not endowed with sanctifying grace. 
By virtue of the Hypostatic Union the man Jesus is the 
natural Son of God, 74 in whom the Father must be 
infinitely well pleased. But He could not possibly be 
well pleased in one who lacked holiness. 75 Consequently, 
the man Jesus, irrespective of His being or not being en 
dowed with sanctifying grace, is substantially holy by 
virtue of His Hypostatic Union with the Logos, who is 
substantial sanctity. Thus holiness is the only divine at 
tribute which is substantially communicable to a creature. 

72 V. supra, pp. 187 sqq. Deus et homo. Et haec quidem 

73 V. supra, pp. 194 sq. coniunctio hominis ad Deum est 

74 V. supra, pp. 196 sqq. propria lesu Christi . . . et gratis- 

75 " Alia vero coniunctio est ho- simum Deo facit, ita quod de ipso 
minis ad Deum non solum per af- singulariter dicatur : Hie est Filius 
fectum out inhabitationem [= acci- meus dilectus, in quo mihi com- 
dentaliter], sed etiam per unit at em placui." (St. Thomas Aquinas, 
hypostasis seu personac, ut scil. una Comp. Theol., c. 222.) 

et eadetn hypostasis seu persona sit 


But does not such a substantial communication of a 
divine attribute entail Monophysitic or Pantheistic as 
sumptions? It does not. First, because sanctity in a 
human being involves only an ethical relation towards 
God, and, secondly, whereas the infinite sanctity of the 
Logos is held to be communicable to the creature, it is 
not held to be communicable in an infinite manner. For, 
as Suarez justly observes, " the grace of union is infinite 
in its kind and renders human nature infinitely pleasing 
[to God], though not in an equal measure with Divinity. 
Divinity is pleasing in itself, humanity merely by its 
union with Divinity, and consequently Divinity is infinite 
in the strict sense of the term, whereas humanity is in 
finite only under a certain respect." 7G 

a) That Jesus, as man, was substantially sanc 
tified by his Hypostatic Union with the Divine 
Logos can be demonstrated from Sacred Scrip 
ture. Cfr. Luke I, 35 : " Quod nascetur ex te 
sanctum, vocabitur Filius Dei The Holy which 
shall be born of thee [Mary], shall be called the 
Son of God." Here Christ s divine sonship is 
given as the ontological reason why He was 
sanctified in the womb of His mother. It follows 
that the man Jesus was holy because he was 
the Son of God. Now, divine sonship depends 
upon the Hypostatic Union as an indispensable 
condition. Consequently, the Hypostatic Union 

78 " Gratia unionis est in suo ge- per unionem, unde ilia est infinita 

nere infinita et reddit humanitatem simpliciter, haec secundum quid." 

infinite gratam, licet non aeque at- (Suarez, DC Incarn., disp. 22, sect. 

gue est grata divinitas ipsa; quia i, n. 22.) Cfr. Chr. Pesch, Praelect. 

haec est grata per essentiam, ills Dogmat., Vol. IV, pp. 140 sq. 


alone was sufficient to sanctify the humanity of 

St. Paul, referring to the Messianic Psalm XLIV, verse 
8, compares Christ s substantial sanctity with the anoint 
ment of His humanity with Divinity : " Propterea unxit 
te Deus, Deus tuns, 77 oleo exultationis prae participibus 
tuis Therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with 
the oil of gladness above thy fellows." 78 Origen com 
ments on this text as follows : " Just as the substance of 
an ointment is something different from its odor, so Christ 
is different from His fellows (i. e., the prophets and 
Apostles). And as a receptacle containing the substance 
of an ointment can nowise assume an evil smell, whereas 
those who go too far away from its odor can contract 
an evil smell (i. e., by sin), so it was utterly impossible 
for Christ, as the vessel in which the substance of the 
ointment was contained, to contract the odor of sin." 
This interpretation of the forty-fourth Psalm is quite 
common. Thus St. Ambrose writes: "Deus est qui 
ungit, et Deus qui secundum carnem ungitur Dei Fi- 
lius. Denique quos habet unctionis suae Christus nisi 
in came participesf Vides igitur quia Deus a Deo unc- 
tus est; sed in assumptione naturae unctus humanae Dei 
Filius designatur." 70 The same thought is expressed 
somewhat more tersely by St. Gregory of Nazianzus: 
" God the Father anointed Christ with the oil of joy above 
all His fellows, when He united the human nature with 
the Godhead, in order to make them both into one." 80 

The argument for our thesis may be effectively con 
densed into the formula : Unio hypostatica = unctio 
substantialis = sanctificatio substantialis. 

77 IxP 10 " 6 ffe <> eos, o os ffov . De Fide ad Gratian., I, 3 (Migne, 

78 Heb. I, 9. P. L., XVI, 556). 

79 Orig., De Princ., II, 6; Ambr., 80 Or at., V, sub fin. 


b) The name "Christ," though used in a figur 
ative sense, admirably describes the essential 
constitution of the Godman. x/oioro s i s derived 
from XP*", "to anoint," and designates our Lord 
as the Anointed, unctus, in a special and pre-em 
inent sense. 

Describing as it does not merely the Son of God, nor 
yet merely the Son of man, but the Godman (feavfyxoTros) 
as such, " Christ " is truly a proper and personal name. 
In the Old Testament priests, 81 kings, 82 and prophets, 83 
were consecrated with holy oil, and thereby became ac 
cidentally " anointed of the Lord." Christ, who unites 
in His Person the three offices of priest, king, and 
prophet, is alone of all men anointed with an anointment 
formally substantial, because the invisible ointment of the 
Divinity, namely, the Divine Substance itself, permeates 
and perfects His human nature in virtue of the Hypo- 
static Union. 

The Fathers are unanimous in interpreting the name 
" Christ " in this personal sense. " We call Christ a 
personal name," says, e. g., St. John of Damascus, " be 
cause it is not assumed one-sidedly, but designates a 
twofold nature. For He Himself anointed Himself: as 
God, He anointed His body with His Divinity; as man, 
He received anointment, since He is both God and 
man." 8 * The human nature thus substantially anointed 
with Divinity must needs be substantially holy. For, as 
Nazianzen puts it, "[Filius] dicitur Christus propter di- 
vinitatem; haec enim est unctio humanitatis, non sancti- 
ficans operatione, ut in aliis Christis, sed totius ungentis 

81 Cfr. Lev. IV, 3. 84 De Fide Orthodoxa, III, 3 

82Cfr. Is. XLV, i; Ps. CIV, 15. (Migne, P. G., XCIV, 990). 
83 Cfr. 3 Kings XIX, 15 sqq. 


praesentid, cuius effectus est, ut qui ungit dicatur homo 
et ut quod ungitur faciat Deum." 85 Or, in the words 
of St. Augustine: "In quo [sell. Verbo} et ipse Filius 
hominis sanctificatus est ab initio creationis suae, quando 
Verbum factum est caro, quia una persona facta est 
Verbum et homo. Tune ergo sanctificavit se in se, hoc 
est, hominem se in Verbo se, quia unus Christus Verbum 
et homo, sanctificans hominem in Verbo." 8<J 

c) The Hypostatic Union does not, however, com 
municate to the soul of Christ formally and substan 
tially that " love which God has for Himself," and which 
is a vital immanent act of the Divine Trinity and consti 
tutes the innermost essence of divine holiness. 87 God s 
intrinsic essence is as incommunicable to creatures as the 
vital act by which He knows Himself. 88 What is sub 
stantially and formally communicable is the so-called ob 
jective holiness of God, viz.: the dignity, majesty, and 
adorableness of the Logos, which mediately effects the 
moral sanctity of the man Jesus, making him not only 
sacrum (ttpov), but sanctum (ayn>). 89 On this ineffable 
and infinite dignity of the Godman is based both the ador- 
ability of Christ s humanity and the infinite meritorious- 
ness of all the free acts which His soul inspired. 

Does the sanctity of Christ s human nature consist 
formally in the Personality of the Logos, or in His Di 
vinity, or in both? This is a subtle problem, concern- 

85 Or., 30, n. 21 (Migne, F. G., alt- und neutestamentlichen The- 
XXXVI, 132). ologie, Koln 1905. 

86 Tract, in loa., 108, n. 3. Cfr. 87 Cfr. Pohle-Preuss, God: His 
Petavius, De Incarn., XI, 8 sq. On Knowability, Essence, and Attri- 
the meaning of the name Christ butes, pp. 423 sqq. 

cfr. Scheeben, Dogmatik, Vol. II, 88 Cfr. Pohle-Preuss, op. cit., pp. 

222, Freiburg 1878; L. Janssens, 113 sqq. 

De Deo-Homine, Vol. I, pp. 637 89 Cfr. Scheeben, Dogmatik, Vol. 

sqq., Friburgi 1901; Ph. Friedrich, II, p. 160. 

Der Christus-Name im Lichte der 


ing which theologians are not agreed. The more com 
mon opinion (St. Thomas, Suarez, and De Lugo) is 
that the substantial sanctity of Christ s manhood is for 
mally communicated to it by the Personality of the Lo 
gos, which incorporates itself immediately and formally 
with His humanity in the Hypostatic Union. Others 
maintain that since the Person of the Logos is the pos 
sessor and bearer of His Divine Nature, the Divinity of 
the Logos must be regarded at least as the mediate forma 
sanctiftcans of His humanity. A third theory assumes 
that the Godhead, abstracted from its bearer, i. e., the 
Logos, is the immediate and formal forma sanctificans. 
But this absurd and impossible hypothesis involves the 
danger of degrading the Hypostatic Union to the level of 
a mere natural synthesis. Vasquez no doubt felt this, for 
he refrained from pushing his thesis " Formam sanctifi- 
cantem esse ipsam deitatem " 90 to its last conclusions. 
He based it on such Patristic expressions as " deificatio " 
and " unctio humanitatis per divinitatem" which Schee- 
ben 91 interprets as follows : The phrases " Deification " 
and " Anointment of humanity with Divinity " describe 
the divine nature or substance of the Logos in the sense 
of St. Cyril, i. e., the divinely spiritual nature of the Lo 
gos as the formal principle of sanctification, without sep 
arating Personality and Nature, which are so intimately 
united in the Logos that both together penetrate and per 
fect His human nature. 92 

Thesis V: Besides the substantial sanctity re 
sulting from the " grace of union," the human soul of 
our Lord also possessed an accidental holiness which, 

90Disp. 41, c. 4, n. 23. 92Cfr. Tepe, Instit. TheoL, Vol. 

QlDogmatik, Vol. II, p. 161, III, pp. 572 sqq. 


though not actually infinite, was by far the most per 
fect created in the present economy. 

This proposition is theologically certain. 

Proof. By accidental or created ( in contradis 
tinction to substantial) holiness we understand 
primarily the state of sanctifying grace. 93 

Being a creature, the soul of Christ was incapable of an 
actually infinite sanctity ; yet, by virtue of the Hypostatic 
Union, it was endowed with a superabundance of grace, 
greater than any other conceivable in the present economy. 

Theologians are at variance as to the degree of cer 
tainty to be attributed to our present thesis. Suarez 
holds it to embody an article of faith, or at least a doc 
trine which it is morally certain that the Church ac 
knowledges as divinely revealed (fidei proximum), 
while Vasquez, Petavius, and De Lugo 94 regard it 
merely as a theologically certain deduction. All agree in 
attributing the moral necessity of the existence of super 
abundant grace in Christ, not to a positive decree of God, 
nor to the merits of Christ s human soul, but to the Hy 
postatic Union. The soul of our Lord, in consequence of 
its personal union with the Logos, was endowed with 
the greatest measure of grace which in the present econ 
omy God can bestow on any creature. Though in its 
last analysis due to the " grace of union," and therefore 
supernatural in character, the plenitude of grace with 
which the soul of Christ was endowed was connatural to, 
i. e., a moral postulate of His nature. 

93 Gratia habitualis sive sancti- matic text-books, on Grace, Actual 
ficans. It will be treated in the and Habitual. 

seventh volume of this series of dog- 94 De Myst. Incarn., disp. 16, 

sect. 5, n. 91. 


a) The Scriptural argument for our thesis is 
mainly based on John I, 14 sqq. : "Et Ver- 
bum caro factum est et habit avit in nobis . . . 
plenum gratiae et veritatis. . . . Et de pleni- 
tudine eius nos omnes accepimus et gratiam pro 
gratia 95 And the Word was made flesh, and 
dwelt among us ... full of grace and truth 
. . . and of his fulness we all have received, and 
grace for grace." 

The " Word Incarnate," i. e., the Godman, is here de 
scribed as " full of grace " 96 in specifically the same 
sense in which we are said to have received from His 
fulness "grace for grace." In other words, there is 
no qualitative difference between the grace of the Giver 
and the grace of those who receive the two are abso 
lutely homogeneous. Now, the grace which man re 
ceives from his Redeemer is primarily sanctifying grace 
or justification. Consequently the soul of Christ must 
have been endowed with this same grace, and with such 
a fulness 97 thereof that all who were redeemed by 
Him, severally and together (including the Blessed Vir 
gin, who was so singularly endowed), can participate in, 
without ever exhausting it. 98 It will not do to say that 
John I, 14 could, without straining, be applied to the mere 
gratia unionis, i. e., substantial sanctification. The gratia 
unionis is not homogeneous with the gratia iustificatorum, 
and consequently cannot be the immediate fount from 
which the justified draw. Whenever the Bible speaks 

95 /cat IK TOV Tr\T)p<t>fjLaTos avrov 97 Plenitude, 
fffieis Trdvres e\a/3o/iej>> icai x^-P lv 98 ^fr- Maldonatus exposition of 

dvrl xdpiros- the text, John I, 14. 

QQPlenus gratiae, TrXiJpijs x-P l - 


of a plenitude of grace, it always means created grace," 
whereas it defines the " grace of union," which results 
in substantial holiness, as " the fulness of the Godhead." 
Cf r. Col. II, 9 : " Quia in ipso inhabitat omnis plenitudo 
divinitatis 10 corporaliter For in Him dwelleth all the 
fulness of the Godhead corporeally." Then there are 
a number of Scriptural texts in which Christ, as man, 
is said to be " anointed with Divinity " (= gratia 
unionis), and also "with the Holy Ghost" (= gratia 
sanctificans) , the latter anointment evidently presup 
posing the former. Isaias says of the future Messias: 
" Egredietur virga de radice lesse . . . et requiescet 
super eum Spiritus Domini, Spiritus sapientiae et in- 
tellectus, etc. And there shall come forth a rod out of 
the root of Jesse . . . and the Spirit of the Lord shall 
rest upon him : the spirit of wisdom, etc." 101 With 
this passage compare another by the same prophet: 
"Spiritus Domini super me, eo quod unxerit Dominus 
me The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because the 
Lord hath anointed me," 102 and Acts X, 38: " Quo- 
modo unxit eum Deus Spiritu Sancto 103 et virtute 
How God anointed him with the Holy Ghost, and with 
power." Whenever Scripture says of an ordinary mor 
tal that " he was anointed with the Holy Ghost," or 
" the Holy Ghost rests upon him," the meaning is that 
the person in question was endowed with supernatural 
graces, of which the chief is sanctifying grace, both on 
its own account and because it is the condition and foun- 

99 Cfr. Luke I, 28: "And the 100 irav rb TrX^pw/ta rijs 

angel being come in, said unto her TOS. 
LMary] : Hail, full of grace." 101 Is. XI, i sqq. 

Acts VI, 8: "And Stephen, full 102 Is. LXI. i sqq. 

of grace and fortitude, did great 103 &s %xP lffev avrbv 6 Qebs 

wonders and signs among the peo- /tiart cryi w. 


dation of the " seven gifts of the Holy Ghost." Since 
the Bible employs the same terms in respect of our Divine 
Saviour, 104 the soul of Christ cannot be conceived as 
devoid of sanctifying grace. In other words, our Lord 
possessed created or accidental in addition to substantial 

b) Among the numerous Patristic texts which 
theologians are accustomed to quote in support 
of this thesis, we can admit as really convincing 
only those that draw a clear-cut distinction be 
tween created holiness and the " grace of union," 
and expressly attribute both to the soul of our 

St. Cyril of Alexandria says : " Christ sanctifies Him 
self, since as God He is holy by nature, but according 
to His humanity He is sanctified together with us, in 
that ... He does not hesitate to call us His breth 
ren." 105 St. Chrysostom asserts both the existence 
and the superabundance of sanctifying grace in our Di 
vine Redeemer. " The full measure of grace," he says, 
"has been poured out over that Temple [i. e., Christ]. 
For He doth not dispense grace according to measure. 
We have received of His fulness, but that Temple hath 
received the complete measure of grace. This is what 
Isaias meant when he said: [The Spirit of the Lord] 
shall rest upon him, etc. In Him is all grace, in men 
but a small measure, a drop of that grace." 106 St. Augus- 

104 Cfr., e. g., Luke IV, 18: 105 Dial. De SS. Trinit., 6 (Migne, 

" Spiritus Domini super me, proptef P. G., LXXV, 1018). 
quod unxit me The Spirit of the 106 In Ps., 44, 2. The passage 

Lord is upon me, wherefore he hath in Isaias referred to by Chrysostom 

anointed me." js XI, 2. 


tine beautifully expounds the Scriptural texts which 
we have adduced above as follows : " The Lord Jesus 
Christ Himself not only gave the Holy Spirit as God, 
but also received it as man, and therefore He is said 
to be full of grace 107 and of the Holy Spirit. 108 And 
in the Acts of the Apostles it is still more plainly written 
of Him, Because God anointed Him with the Holy 
Spirit. 109 Certainly not with visible oil, but with the 
gift of grace, which is signified by the visible ointment 
wherewith the Church anoints the baptized." 110 

St. Thomas Aquinas says: " Necesse est ponere in 
Christ o gratiam habitualem propter tria: primo quid em 
propter unionem animae illius ad Verbum Dei, . . . 
secundo propter nobilitatem illius animae, . . . tertio 
propter habitudinem ipsius Christi ad genus humanum. 
Christus enim, inquantum homo, est mediator Dei et ho- 
minum, ut dicitur I Tim. 2; et ideo oportebat quod haberet 
gratiam etiam in alios redundantem secundum illud lo. I, 
16: De plenitudine eius omnes accepimus, et gratiam 
pro gratia." 111 Of these three reasons the first, which is 
based on the Hypostatic Union, is the most important: 
"Ex ipsa igitur unione naturae humanae ad Deum in 
unitate consequens est, ut anima Christi donis gratiarum 
habitualibus prae ceteris fuerit plena; et sic habitualis 
gratia in Christo non est dispositio ad unionem, sed magis 
unionis effectus." 112 

107 John I, 14. unxit eum Deus Spiritu Sancto 

108 Luke XI, 52, IV, i. (Act. 10, 38). Non utique oleo 

109 Acts X, 38. visibili, sed dono gratiae, quod visi- 

110 Aug., De Trinit., XV, 26, 46: bili significatur unguento, quo bap- 
" Dominus ipse lesus Spiritum S. tizatos ungit Ecclesia." Other Pa- 
non solum dedit ut Deus, sed etiam tristic texts quoted by Petavius, De 
accepit ut homo; propter -ea dictus Incarn., XI, 6. 

est plenus gratia (lo. i, 14) et m 5. Theol., 3&, qu. 7, art. i. 

Spiritu Sancto (Luc. n, 52; 4, i). 112 Comp. Theol., c. 214. For a 

Et manifestius de illo scriptum est more elaborate treatment see 

in Actibus Apostolorum: quoniam Suarez, De Incarn., disp. 18, sect. 2. 



c) In this connection theologians are wont to 
discuss the following questions: (a) When was 
the fulness of sanctifying grace infused into the 
human soul of Christ? and (/?) Was that soul 
also endowed with other supernatural preroga 
tives, such as the theological virtues? The for 
mer question is suggested by Luke II, 52 : "And 
Jesus advanced in wisdom, and age, and grace 
with God and men." The latter arises from a 
comparison between Christ and justified man. 
(y) A third question, the most important of all, 
has to do with the so-called "grace of headship" 
(gratia capitis). 

) All theologians are agreed that, as the 
fulness of sanctifying grace was included in the 
"grace of union," the accidental sanctification of 
the soul of Christ must have exactly coincided 
with the moment of the Hypostatic Union, i. e., 
with the instant of His conception. 113 

From this teaching not even St. Bonaventure dissents, 
though he holds the peculiar view that for the soul of 
our Divine Lord the state of grace was a " preparation " 
or debita dispositio for, rather than an effect of, the 
Hypostatic Union. No matter whether it be regarded 
as a preparation or an effect, unless we admit that the 
" fulness of grace " was from the very beginning a rel 
atively infinite entity incapable of increase, we shall be 
compelled to assent to the absurd conclusion that the 
Hypostatic Union exercised a stronger influence over 

113 F. supra, pp. 166 sqq. 


the soul of Christ in later life than at the moment of 
His conception. These considerations furnish us with 
a key to the proper interpretation of Luke II, 52 : " Et 
lesus proficiebat 114 sapientid et aetate et gratia 115 apud 
Deum et homines And Jesus advanced in wisdom, 
and age, and grace with God and men." He who from 
the very beginning possessed the fulness of created grace 
could not advance in interior holiness. Christ was 
equally holy as a babe and as an adult man. The exer 
cise of virtue, therefore, could not merit for Him an in 
crease of sanctifying grace, as is the case with us, but 
merely greater extrinsic glory for Himself and addi 
tional favors for us. The Fathers and theologians ex 
plain His advance in wisdom and grace not as an in 
crease in, but merely as an outward manifestation of 
sanctifying grace. 116 But why does Sacred Scripture 
say that He advanced in wisdom and grace, as He ad 
vanced in age, with God? Because the works of wis 
dom which he performed, and His diligent co-operation 
with actual grace, by means of which His holiness grad 
ually became manifest to His fellow-men, were merito 
rious and pleasing in the eyes of God. 

ft} In the ordinary process of justification the 
infusion of sanctifying grace is accompanied 
by other supernatural prerogatives, viz.: the 

114 TrpoeKOTTTev aliquis sapientiora et virtuosiora 

115 -yapiTi opera facit; et sic Christus proficie- 
H6 irpoKOTTTj Kara Qavepwaiv- bat sapientid et gratia, sicut et ae- 

Cfr. St. Thomas, S. TheoL, 3a, qu. tate, quia secundum processum ae- 

7, art. 12, ad 3: "Aliquis potest tatis perfectiora opera faciebat, ut 

proficere dupliciter. Uno modo se- se verum hominem demonstraret, et 

cundum ipsos habitus sapientiae et in his quae sunt ad Deum, et in 

gratiae augmentatos; et sic Christus his quae sunt ad homines." 
in eis non proficiebat. Alio modo 117 napa 0eoi. 

secundum effectus, inquantum scil. 


three theological and the so-called moral virtues, 
together with the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost. 
Now, it would be wrong to hold that the hu 
man soul of Christ enjoyed the state of grace in 
the same sense as we do, only in a more perfect 
manner. The soul of our Blessed Redeemer, by 
virtue of the Hypostatic Union of the two na 
tures, is in a class altogether by itself. 

Of the theological virtues Christ doubtless possessed 
charity. Not so faith and hope. There was no room in 
His soul for the theological virtue of faith, because He 
already enjoyed the beatific vision. " Christus a primo 
instanti suae conceptionis plene vidit Deum per essen- 
tiam," says St. Thomas, " et per hanc visionem beatificam 
etlam omnia supernaturalia clarissime perspexit, unde in 
eo fides esse non pot-nit" 118 Nor could He exercise the 
virtue of hope, because the actual enjoyment of the bea 
tific vision renders theological hope useless, nay impossible. 
One cannot hope to attain what one already possesses. 
Only with respect of such gifts of grace as He did not yet 
possess, e. g., His glorification by means of the Resurrec 
tion and Ascension, was Christ able, after a fashion, to 
exercise hope. 119 

Of the infused moral virtues Christ cannot possibly 
have practiced repentance (poenitentia) , because it sup 
poses forgiveness of sins. Our Divine Lord had no sins 
to be wiped out by contrition and penance. He was abso 
lutely sinless and impeccable in His human as well as in 
His divine nature. As regards the other moral virtues, 

118 5 1 . Theol., 3a, qu. 7, art. 3. 

119 Cfr. St. Thomas, S. Theol., 33, qu. 7, art. 4. 


it is the common opinion of theologians that Jesus 
possessed them all, both natural and supernatural. 
Though inferior in character to the supernatural, the 
natural virtues, too, were His, because they serve to per 
fect human nature, and no ideal man is conceivable with 
out them. 

It is of faith that the soul of Christ was endowed 
with the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost, though, of 
course, "godliness " in Him was not a servile fear (timor 
servilis) but that filial reverence (timor filialis) which a 
good son bears towards his father. Cf r. Is. XI, 2 sq. : 
" Et requiescet super eum spiritus Domini: spiritus sa- 
pientiae et intellectus, spiritus consilii et fortitudinis, 
spiritus scientiae et pietatis, et replebit eum spiritus 
timor is Domini And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest 
upon him : the spirit of wisdom, and of understanding, 
the spirit of counsel, and of fortitude, the spirit of 
knowledge, and of godliness; and he shall be filled with 
the spirit of the fear of the Lord." 12 

y) Through the Hypostatic Union Christ not 
only received for Himself personally the pleni 
tude of all graces but likewise the gratia capitis, 
i. e., the natural and supernatural headship of all 

Christ is " full of grace and truth," and " of His 
fulness we have all received." 121 Thus from the gratia 
unionis spontaneously flows the gratia capitis, in virtue 
of which our Lord is the natural and supernatural Head 

120 On the gratiae gratis datae of L. Janssens, De Deo-Homine, Vol. 

Christ compare St. Thomas, 5". I, pp. 341 sqq. 
Theol., aa, qu. 7, art. 7-8. On the 121 John I, 14, 16. 

entire subject of this thesis cfr. 


of fallen men, of the angels, in fact of all rational crea 
tures, nay even of inanimate nature. 122 Where there is 
a head there must be members to constitute an organism. 
St. Thomas 123 distinguishes a twofold relationship be 
tween the head and the body, distinctio and conformitas. 
Under the first-mentioned aspect the head is distinguished 
from the members of the body (i) by its dignity as the 
sole possessor of the five senses ; 124 (2) by its government 
as the ruler of the whole organism, 125 and (3) by the vital 
influence it exercises over the entire body. 126 The con 
formity of the head with the body manifests itself (i) 
by the unity of its nature 127 with that of the body, be 
cause head and members are homogeneous; (2) by the 
unity of order 128 which connects the members with the 
head and regulates their respective functions; (3) by 
the unity of continuity, 129 in so far as the head is per 
fectly joined to its members. Both series of relations 
are organically interrelated and point each to the other. 
The dignity of the head supposes the existence of homo 
geneous members from among which it stands out. 
Again the head could not rule over the body were it not 
that the members are wisely ordained towards one an 
other. Lastly, the exercise of the head s influence de 
pends on the existence of organic continuity by which the 
vital fluids are enabled to circulate freely through the 
organs. This allegory is based upon Sacred Scripture. 
Let us apply it to the Godman. 

122 For a discussion of the subtle 123 De Verit., qu. 29, art. 4. 

problem how the gratia capitis is 124 Dignitas. 

related to the gratia unionis, and 125 Gubernatio. 

whether or not it is objectively 126 Causalitas. 

identical with habitual grace, we 127 Unitas naturae. 

must refer the reader to Billuart, 128 Unitas ordinis. 

De Incarn., diss. 9, art. 4, and to 129 Unitas continuitatis. 
St. Thomas, S. Th., aa, qu. 8, art. 5. 


I. As God, Christ is the Lord rather than the Head 
of His creatures. As man, He is first and above all 
the Head of His Church, which, in the words of Su- 
arez, 130 consists of men and is partly militant here on 
earth, partly triumphant in Heaven. This is an article of 
faith clearly expressed in many passages of Holy 
Scripture, especially in the Epistles of St. Paul. Cfr. 
Eph. I, 22 sq. : " Et omnia subiecit sub pedibus eius, 
et ipsum dedit caput supra omnem ecclesiam, 1 * 1 quae 
est corpus ipsius 132 And he hath subjected all things 
under his feet, and hath made him head over all the 
Church, which is his body." Col. I, 18: " Et ipse est 
caput corporis ecclesiae, 133 qui est principium, primo- 
genitus ex mortuis, ut sit in omnibus ipse primatum 
tenens And he is the head of the body, the church, 
who is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; that 
in all things he may hold the primacy." Christ is the 
mystic Head of the human race and of His Church in a 
threefold manner, (i) As the most perfect man who 
can possibly exist, He excels all His fellowmen by His 
infinite dignity, 134 and consequently is the Head of hu 
mankind in a higher sense even than Adam. 135 (2) In 
virtue of the Hypostatic Union Christ is by His very 
nature the King of kings and Lord of lords, 136 the Ruler 
of all men. (3) Lastly He is pre-eminently our Head, 
because of the supernatural influence 137 which He exer- 

130 Comment, in S. Theol. S. 132 T b ffutpa avrov. 

Thomae Aquinatis, III, disp. 23, 133 }) /ce0a\^ TOV ff(b/J,aT05 rrjs 

sect, i, n. 2, ed. Vives, t. XVII, KK\-t]<rlas. 

647, Paris 1859: " Christ us est 134 Dignitas. 

caput totius Ecclesiae, quae ex ho- 135 Cfr. Rom. V, 14 sqq. 

minibus constat, sive in terra mili- 136 Gubernatio. Cfr. Eph. I, 20 

tantis sive in coelo regnantis." sqq.; i Cor. XV, 21 sqq. 

131 Ke(f>a\r)i> virep irdvra TJJ e*c- 137 Causalitas. 


cises over those who are actually or potentially united 
with Him as members of His mystic body. 138 

To ascertain the extension of the true Church it is 
necessary to distinguish, as theologians commonly do, 
between actual and potential membership. Unques 
tionably all those human beings are in vital communion 
with Christ as their mystic Head, who are actually 
united with Him either by the heavenly light of glory, 139 
or by sanctifying grace, or at least by internal faith. 
The Godman Jesus Christ is truly the head and fountain 
of all graces for the elect in Heaven, for the poor souls 
in Purgatory, and for all just men as well as all believing 
sinners on earth. These four classes together constitute 
the Church. The elect in Heaven behold Him in His 
transfigured humanity, which to the faithful on earth re 
mains hidden under the species of bread and wine. 140 
He operates in all through faith or charity, thus binding 
together the members of the militant with those of the 
suffering and the triumphant Church into one mystic 
body, called " Communion of Saints." 141 

So far theologians are quite unanimous. But they 
differ when it comes to determining the line which di 
vides the actual members of the Church from those who 
are merely potential Christians. Apostates and overt 
heretics can not be actual members of the Church, be 
cause they have voluntarily severed the arteries which 

138 Cfr. John I, 16, XV, i sqq., 139 On the lumen gloriae see 

XVII, 21 sqq.; Eph. IV, u sqq.; Pohle-Preuss, God: His Knowability, 

i Cor. X, 16 sq., XII, 12 sq. Cfr. Essence, and Attributes, pp. 101 sqq. 

Cone. Trident., Sess. VI, cap. 16 1 40 Cfr. John VI, 57; i Cor. X, 

(Denzinger-Bannwart, Enchiridion, 16 sq. 

n. 809) : " Quum cnim ille ipse 141 On the Communion of Saints 

lesus tamquam caput in membra et see J. P. Kirsch, The Doctrine of 

tamquam -vitis in palmites in ipsos the Communion of Saints in the An- 

iustificatos iugiter virtutem influat, dent Church (tr. by J. R. M Kee), 

etc." London 1911. 


connected them with the mystic Head. But what about 
covert heretics? Can they be considered actual mem 
bers of the Church? Suarez says no; Bellarmine re 
plies in the affirmative. 142 With regard to the heathen, 
theologians are pretty generally agreed that they belong 
to the Church potentially (in potentia), because Christ 
died for them also, and though they have not the true 
faith, they receive actual graces through His merits. Even 
the unborn infants are potential members of the Redeem 
er s mystic body, for the reason that, at least mediately, 
through the prayers of their parents and those of the 
Church, they are brought under His influence. Christ 
cannot, however, be called the Head of the reprobate 
sinners in hell. He is their rigorous Lord and avenging 
Judge, but not their Head, because, being irrevocably cut 
off from His mystic body, they are no longer capable 
of being His members. 

It is a matter of debate among divines whether or not 
Christ was also the Head of the human race in Paradise. 
The Thomists deny, 143 whereas the Scotists and Suarez 144 
affirm it, either absolutely or hypothetically, each accord 
ing to his individual attitude with respect to the pre 
destination of the Incarnation. 145 

2. The question whether or not Christ by virtue of 
the gratia capitis is also the Head of the Angels, is an 
swered in the negative by some of the Fathers and 
Scholastics, who maintain that between Christ as man 
and the angelic spirits there is lacking that homogeneity 
of nature and that influence of grace which constitute 
the essential characteristics of a head in the supernatural 

142 Cfr. Palmieri, De Romano 144 Comment, in S. Theol., III, 
Pontifice cum Prolegom. de Ecclesia, disp. 23, sect, i, n. 5. 

pp. 47 sqq., 2nd ed., Prati 1891. 145 For a discussion of this point 

143 Cfr. Billuart, De Incarn., diss. we must refer the student to Sote- 
9, art. 2, 3. riology. 


sphere. As Christ became incarnate solely for man s 
sake, they say, the graces He merited are applicable to 
men only, the supernatural state of grace and glory en 
joyed by the Angels being a gratuitous gift of the 
Blessed Trinity. 146 In the opinion of Billuart, how 
ever, with which we are inclined to agree, it is little 
less than temerarious to deny that, in a certain sense 
at least, the Godman is also the Head of the angelic 
hosts. " Christum esse caput angelorum aliquo modo, 
puta quoad externam gubernationem, sicut Papa dicitur 
caput Ecclesiae he says, 147 " non indetur posse negari 
sine errore, turn propter apertissima s. Scripturae testi- 
monia et s. Patrum, turn quia esset negare Christum esse 
principem ac Dominum angelorum atque totius Ecclesiae 
triumphantis, quae ex hominibus et angelis constat." In 
matter of fact Christ s headship over the Angels can be 
rigorously demonstrated by a threefold argument. First, 
He is by dignity the Head not only of men, but of all 
creatures, which as such owe Him homage, obedience, 
and adoration, as the Apostle testifies in Heb. I, 6: 
" Et quum iterum introducit primogenitum in orbem ter- 
rae, dicit: Et adorent eum omnes angeli And again, 
when he bringeth in the first begotten into the world, 
he saith: And let all the angels of God adore him." 
Again, since that which is more perfect rules over that 
which is less perfect, there is every reason to assume that 
the Angels are subject to Christ even qua man. While 
the infernal spirits tremble with fear and rage because 
they are compelled to serve Christ, the blessed Angels 

146 Thus Gabriel Biel, Driedo, angelorum, explicant hominum esse 
Soto, and others. Suarez comments caput secundum humanitatem, an 
on this opinion as follows: " Cui gelorum vero secundum, divinita- 
sententiae videntur favere multi Pa- tern" (L c.). 

tres, qui ubicumque Paulus dicit 147 De Incarn., diss. 9, art. 3. 
Christum esse caput hominum et 


gladly do His bidding and are proud to acknowledge Him 
as their Ruler and Lord. Cfr. Matth. IV, n: "And 
behold angels came and ministered to him." 148 

It is somewhat more difficult to decide whether the 
Godman is the Head of the angelic hosts also from the 
third point of view, i. e., as the source of grace. The 
ologians disagree on this question. One group holds 
with Scotus that all graces without exception, and con 
sequently also the grace bestowed upon the Angels, are 
exclusively attributable to Christ and His merits. An 
other, under the leadership of St. Thomas, defines the 
grace of Christ purely as redemptive grace in which the 
Angels do not share. But even in the Thomistic hy 
pothesis Christ retains such a far-reaching accidental 
influence of grace over the Angels that He can still 
be called their Head. For even if He had not mer 
ited for them the full state of grace and glory which 
they enjoy, He would yet undoubtedly be in a position 
to communicate to them an accidental increase of light 
and happiness from the infinite thesaurus of His grace. 
When the angelic intellect turns towards the luminous 
soul of the Godman, it is flooded with light and enriched 
with prolific concepts. This truth is entirely independent 
of the theory of the three " hierarchic acts " (illuminare, 
pur gar e, and perficere) which Pseudo-Dionysius attributes 
to the Angelic intellect. 149 Since, however, the Angels, 
unlike the members of the human race, are not of the 
same species with Christ, De Lugo finds the ultimate cause 
of our Lord s headship over them in the two prerogatives 
of His infinite dignity and exalted dominion. 

148 diyKovovv avT$. Cfr. De St. Thomas, Comment, in Quatuor 
Lugo, De Myst. Incarn., disp. 30, Libras Sent., Ill, dist. 13, qu. 2, 
sect, i, n. 7. art. 2. 

149 De Gael. Hier., VII, 35 cfr. 


3. As regards the third and last category of creatures, 
viz.: those which constitute the material universe, the 
infinite dignity and supreme dominion of the Godman 
undoubtedly give Him a natural claim to rule as pri- 
mogenitus omnis creaturae et primatum tenens over the 
entire universe. Inasmuch, however, as the title of 
" headship " connotes a certain willingness, docility, and 
manageableness on the part of the subject members, 
it is more appropriate to call Christ the Lord than 
the Head of material creatures. And the same prin 
ciple applies to His headship over the demons and repro 
bate sinners in hell. He is their Lord rather than their 
Head. The devils, who are intelligent creatures, will 
not obey Him; the irrational brutes and matter, being 
destitute of reason, can not obey Him. Both serve Him 
under compulsion. 

Some theologians hold that Christ s humanity exer 
cises a physical influence over all creatures without ex 
ception. But this theory rests on false assumptions and 
is philosophically untenable. For, as Suarez pertinently 
observes," hoc non pertinet ad dignitatem assumptae hu- 
manitatis nee est necessarium ad manifestationem no- 
minis Christi." 15 It will be sufficient to say, therefore, 
that Christ, as man, ranks infinitely above the created 
universe, and that all creatures are subject to Him and 
compelled to do His bidding. Cfr. Matth. VIII, 27: 
" The winds and the sea obey him." 151 

READINGS : Bougaud-Currie, The Divinity of Christ, pp. 66 
sqq., New York 1906. * L. Atzberger, Die Unsiindlichkeit Christi, 
Miinchen 1883. K. Hennemann, Die Heiligkeit Jesu als Beweis 

150 Comment, in Quatuor Libras L. Janssens, De Deo-Homine, Vol. 
Sent., Ill, disp. 23, sect, i, n. 9. I, pp. 374 sqq.; Franzelin, De 

151 On the gratia capitis cfr. St. Verbo Incarn., thes. 41; Stentrup, 
Thomas, S. Theol., 33, qu. 8; also Soteriologia, thes. 169 sqq. 


seiner Gottheit, Wiirzburg 1898. Wilhelm-Scannell, A Manual 
of Catholic Theology, Vol. II, pp. 149 sqq., 2nd ed, London 1901. 
W. Humphrey, S. ]., The One Mediator, pp. 238 sqq., London 
s. a. 



Having dealt in a previous treatise with the di 
vine knowledge of Christ, qua Logos (i. e. God), 1 
we may here confine ourselves to a consideration 
of His human knowledge. 

The nature and extent of Christ s human 
knowledge is one of the most difficult problems in 
Christology. While the Church in her contro 
versies with various heretics was repeatedly com 
pelled to concern herself in a special manner with 
the will of our Divine Lord, she never had any 
particular occasion to decide the questions that 
have arisen in regard to His intellect. 

The Hypostatic Union is the source and fountainhead 
of all the prerogatives and graces with which the soul 
of Jesus is endowed. It goes without saying that these 
prerogatives and graces are the highest and noblest of 
which a creature is capable. Since, however, no crea 
ture can ever become God, (this would involve a con 
tradiction), the humanity of Christ is not God. The 
Hypostatic Union did not result in an apotheosis of the 
assumed manhood, but only in what is technically termed 
Th e mystery enveloping the Hypostatic 

i Pohle-Preuss, God: His Knowability, Essence, and Attributes, 
pp. 327 sqq. 


Union makes it difficult for us to find the correct mean 
between these two extremes. It is probably due to this 
circumstance that certain theologians ~ have left the 
beaten track of traditional teaching in this important ques 
tion. There can be no doubt that the universal and con 
stant teaching of Catholic theologians in matters of faith 
constitutes the best source of certainty. 

Generally speaking, man is capable of a three 
fold knowledge : ( i ) that derived from the bea 
tific vision of God, (2) infused knowledge, and 
(3) acquired or experimental knowledge, derived 
from sense perception and experience. The first 
kind of knowledge (scientia beat a) is a preroga 
tive of the elect in Heaven, who participate in the 
divine knowledge of the Blessed Trinity through 
the medium of the so-called lumen gloriae. Ac 
quired or experimental knowledge is conditioned 
by the present constitution of human nature and 
therefore peculiar to man as a wayfarer. The 
supernatural gifts of faith and grace do not dis 
pense him from dependence on the material 
world. Midway between these two species stands 
the knowledge infused by God (scientia infusa). 
This kind of knowledge is connatural to the an 
gelic intellect, and theologians commonly hold 
that it was conferred as a supernatural gift on 
Adam and Solomon. 

2 This group comprises the school unquestioned loyalty to the Church, 
of Giinther, the Modernists, H. e. g., Klee and Laurent. 
Schell, and also a few divines of 


The soul of Christ simultaneously possessed all 
three kinds of knowledge, as we shall now pro 
ceed to demonstrate. 

Thesis I: From the first moment of its existence 
in a human body the soul of our Lord Jesus Christ en 
joyed the beatific vision of God. 

If the soul of Christ on earth was constituted in 
the possession of the beatific vision, and of such 
knowledge of God and the created universe as that 
vision implies, then His state, in this respect, was 
not so much that of a wayfarer, but rather the 
status termini proper to the elect in Heaven. 

Hence the theological axiom : " Christus erat viator 
simul et comprehensor." Modernistic theologians con 
tend that this axiom involves a contradiction, or at least 
that the simultaneous possession of these two kinds of 
knowledge is incompatible with the life and passion of our 
Lord in His capacity as Mediator between God and man. 
To escape this alleged contradiction they deny Him the 
visio beata. As Sacred Scripture and Tradition teach 
nothing definite on the matter and the Church has never 
put forth a formal definition, this denial does not in 
volve heresy ; but it runs counter to a theological con 
clusion which, supported as it is by the unanimous 
consent of older theologians and the belief of the faith 
ful, may be regarded as certain. Suarez says : " I re 
gard the contrary opinion as erroneous, nay even as 
bordering on heresy (proximam haeresi}, because the 
testimony of Sacred Scripture in connection with the 
teaching of the Fathers and the consensus of all 


Catholic doctors is sufficient to produce certainty." 3 
One may think this censure too rigorous, but it is hard 
to escape the force of the argument formulated by such 
a cautious and unprejudiced theologian as Petavius: 
"Nemo hactenus bond, fide christianus, i. e. catholicus 
scriptor exstitit," he says, " qui de Christo aliter existi- 
maret quam eum numquam, ex quo vivere coepit, divino 
aspectu caruisse; nee hodie quisquam est, rudis licet 
liter arum et idiota, qui si utcumque quid Christus sit 
noverit, non idem de eo rogatus respondeat." 4 A fur 
ther motive for adhering to the traditional teaching is that 
the Scholastics and later theologians, though fully cog 
nizant of the difficulties which prompt modern writers to 
reject the older view, never swerved from the path 
mapped out by the Fathers. 

Proof. a) To construct a solid Scriptural ar 
gument we must find texts which treat expressly 
of the human knowledge of Jesus ; such as merely 
prove His divine knowledge, 5 or can be inter 
preted by the Communication of Idioms, 6 are 
manifestly inconclusive. 

Some divines 7 appeal to John III, 13: "Nemo 
ascendit in coelum, nisi qui descendit de coelo, Filius 
hominis qui est in coelo No man hath ascended into 
heaven, but he that descended from heaven, the Son of 
man who is in heaven." To " be in heaven," they say, 
means to " be constituted in the possession of the beatific 
vision." But this interpretation is by no means cogent. 

3 De Incarn., disp. 25, sect. i. 6 E. g., John XII, 26, XIV, 3, 

4 De Incarn., IX, c. 4, n. 8. XVII, 24. 

5 For example, Matth. XI, 27; 1 Prominent among them Cardi- 
Luke X, 22. nal Billot. 


By virtue of the Communication of Idioms the " Son 
of man " is as much " in heaven " as the " Son of God," 
because both are identical with the Divine Person of 
the Logos. 8 

A more apposite text is John I, 17-18: " Quia lex 
per Moysen data est, gratia et veritas per lesum Chri 
stum fact a est. Deum nemo vidit unquam, unigenitus 
Filius, qui est in sinu Patris, ipse enarravit For the 
law was given by Moses; grace and truth came by 
Jesus Christ. No man hath seen God at any time: the 
only begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father, 
he hath declared him." Though this passage refers 
primarily to the divine vision of the only begotten Son 
in the bosom of the Father, the Evangelist seems to 
include also the human vision of His soul. Had he 
meant only the divine vision of the Logos as such, 
" He who declares the Father " would be either a 
mere automaton or at best a prophet enlightened by 
Revelation. In the former hypothesis Christ would 
rank beneath Moses, in the latter assumption He would 
certainly not surpass that inspired Jewish law-giver, be 
cause without divine inspiration it is impossible for 
any prophet to declare the mysteries of God. But 
what the Evangelist wishes to accentuate in the above 
quoted passage is precisely that Christ s superiority over 
Moses is not merely one of degree, but essentially differ 
ent, as different as the Old Testament is from the New. 
Wherein does this essential difference consist ? " He 
who declares," i. e., the Son of man as such, really 
saw God. Consequently the soul of Christ was consti 
tuted in the possession of the beatific vision. 

8 Cfr. Chr. Pesch, Praelect. Dog- burgi 1909; L. Janssens, De Deo 
mat., Vol. IV, 3d ed., p. 139, Fri- Homine, Vol. I, pp. 410 sq. 



St. Thomas Aquinas 9 successfully appeals to John 
VIII, 55: " Et non cognovistis eum [scil. Pair em], 
ego autem novi eum. 10 Et si dixero quid non scio eum, 
ero similis vobis mcndax. Sed scio eum 11 et sermonem 
eius servo You have not known him [i. e. } the Father], 
but I know him. And if I shall say that I know him 
not, I shall be like to you, a liar. But I do know him, 
and do keep his word." In this passage the phrase " I 
know him " describes a clear, intuitive knowledge of the 
Father, and consequently of the entire Trinity ; but such 
knowledge is impossible except through the beatific vision. 
Now our Divine Saviour claims this knowledge not only 
as God, but also as man, for it is only as man that He 
can " keep the word " of His Heavenly Father and 
say of Himself, as He does in the verse immediately 
preceding: "If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. 
It is my Father that glorifieth me." 12 

b) The Patristic texts that can be adduced 
in confirmation of our thesis are too meagre to 
allow us to speak of a strict argument from the 
writings of the Fathers. 

St. Augustine in his allegorical explanation of the 
resuscitation of Lazarus observes that Lazarus lying in 
the tomb and wrapped in a shroud is a figure of our 
earthly knowledge of God, whereas Lazarus released 
from his grave and restored to life symbolizes the 
knowledge of God which we are to enjoy in Heaven. 13 
He adds that this simile applies to all men with the 
sole exception of Christ, who enjoyed the beatific vision 
as a wayfarer here on earth. 14 

9 5". Theol., 33., qu. 9, art. 2. 12 John VIII, 54. 

K> olda avrov, is Cfr. i Cor. XIII, 12. 

11 olda aMv, l* Lib. 83 Quaest., qu. 65 : " Ipse 


Pope St. Leo the Great teaches : " Quum simplex et 
incommutabilis natura deitatis tola sit semper in sua 
essentia nee damnum sui recipiens nee augmentum et sic 
naturam assumptam beatificans, ut glorificata in glori- 
ficante permaneat" 15 

The only ecclesiastical writer who has treated this 
question ex professo is St. Fulgentius of Ruspe. He 
holds that the soul of Christ, because of its divine 
dignity derived from the Hypostatic Union, must nec 
essarily have been constituted in the possession of the 
beatific vision : " Caveamus ne, quum anima Christi to- 
tum Patrem nosse non creditur, ipsi uni Christo ex 
aliqua parte non solum Patris, sed etiam sui et Spiritus 
S. cognitio denegetur ; perquam vero durum est et a 
sanitate fidei alienum, ut dicamus animam Christi non 
plenam suae deitatis hob ere notitiam, cum qua naturaliter 
creditur habere personam." 16 Had St. Fulgentius con 
tented himself with explaining, as St. Thomas did several 
centuries later, that the soul of Christ on earth saw, but 
did not adequately comprehend the Blessed Trinity, be 
cause no creature can have an adequate comprehension of 
the Godhead, he would deserve to be called, in respect 
of Christology, " a Scholastic before the days of Scholas 
ticism." But he grossly exaggerates when in the process 
of his argument he identifies simple vision with adequate 
comprehension, a proceeding which has scandalized 
more than one later theologian. 17 Fulgentius himself 
appears to have realized that he had overshot the mark, 
since he says further on : " Possumus plane dice-re, ani- 

solus in came non tantum in monu- 16 Ep. 14 ad Ferrand., n. 26. 

mento non est oppressus, ut aliquod 17 E. g., Petavius (De Incarn., 

peccatum in eo inveniretur, sed nee VI, 3. i sqq.), Thomassin (De In- 

linteis implicatus, ut cum aliquid earn,, 1. VII), Ruiz (De Scientia 

later et out ab itinere retardaret." Dei, disp. 6, sect. 2), and Stentrup 

15 Ep. 25 ad lulian. (Christ ologia, thes. 72). 


mam Christi hob ere plenam notitiam deitatis suae; nescio 
tamen, utrum debeamus dicere quod anima Christi sic 
suam deitatem noverit, quemadmodum se ipsa deltas no- 
vit, an hoc potius dicendum est, quia novit quantum ilia, 
sed non sicut ilia? . . . Anima vero ilia ab ipsa deitate, 
quam plene novit, accepit ut noverit." 18 Needless to add, 
this distinction does not sufficiently safeguard the dogma 
of God s absolute incomprehensibility. 19 

For the rest, we may claim the authority of the 
Fathers in favor of our thesis at least in so far as they 
teach: (i) That Christ made no intrinsic advance in 
either His divine or His human knowledge 20 any more 
than in holiness or grace, and (2) that His human 
intellect did not admit of ignorance in the strict sense 
of the term, as claimed by the Agnoetae. Of these two 
propositions the first postulates, while the second favors 
the doctrine that the human soul of our Lord enjoyed 
the beatific vision. 21 Since the Fathers base these two 
propositions on the Hypostatic Union, they must have 
held that Christ was constituted in the possession of the 
beatific vision at the instant of His conception, i. e., the 
creation of His soul. 

c) As the reader will have inferred, the ar 
gument for our thesis rests mainly on theological 
grounds, and these grounds are very weighty 

*) The Hypostatic Union is the principle and 

18 Ep. 14 ad Ferrand., n. 31. rule see Third Thesis, infra, pp. 

19 Cfr. Pohle-Preuss, God: His 273 sqq. 

Knowability, Essence, and Attri- 21 For the necessary Patristic 

butes, pp. 107 sqq. texts consult Chr. Pesch, Praelect. 

20 On the one exception to this Dogmat., Vol. IV, pp. 141 sqq., 153 



measure of our Lord s human knowledge in the 
same way in which it is the principle and measure 
of His created holiness. 

Though the beatific vision is not a metaphysically neces 
sary effect of the gratia unionis, the moral claim which 
the soul of Christ has to that vision is so strong that the 
burden of proof rests entirely with those who deny it. It 
is unthinkable that the soul of Christ should not from the 
very beginning of its existence have known the Logos 
with whom it was united in the most intimate manner con 
ceivable, *. e., by Hypostatic Union. And if Christ s sa 
cred humanity was endowed with the sublimest of all gifts 
in the order of grace, viz.: personal communion with the 
Godhead, it could not possibly have been deprived of 
the lesser gift of beatific vision in the light of glory. The 
soul of our Lord was constituted in the full possession of 
created sanctity and the perfection of grace, 22 and conse 
quently was elevated to the highest summit of accidental 
grace, which is the beatific vision of the Divine Essence. 
It is a theological axiom that " Glory is grace consum 
mated." 23 " The man Jesus," says Kleutgen, " is true God 
by virtue of the Hypostatic Union, because by this union 
His humanity is elevated, not to a higher degree of di 
vine resemblance, but to the personal being of the Son 
of God. The Hypostatic Union, therefore, is not, like 
the beatific vision of God, a consummation of sanctifying 
grace. It is something far superior to both. Conse 
quently grace cannot be the cause but must be an effect 
of the Hypostatic Union. . . . This is the only cor 
rect conception of the relation between grace and the 
Hypostatic Union, and it naturally leads us to conceive 

22 V. supra, pp. 207 sqq. 

23 " Gloria est consummates gratia." 


of grace in Christ as in the state of consummation. For 
grace was not given to Christ, qua man, to enable Him 
to attain to a certain predestined dignity, but because He 
had already attained to the highest dignity which it is 
possible for us to conceive. Grace in its consummation is 
precisely the light of glory which elevates the soul to the 
vision of God. If, on the contrary, the Hypostatic Union 
be wrongly defined as a vital commerce effected by intel 
lectual activity, we fail to distinguish its nature from that 
union with God into which grace permits the soul to enter. 
We should then be easily tempted to assume a gradual ad 
vance in both, and, to be consistent, should have to place 
the consummation of the Hypostatic Union in the beatific 
vision. From all of which it is easy to see why the school 
of Giinther, though it does not expressly draw this infer 
ence, yet hotly attacks the thesis which we defend." 2 * 

0) St. Thomas argues that Christ "would not 
be the Head of all creatures if some creature at 
any time surpassed Him in mental perfection." 25 

Jesus was the Mediator between God and man, and 
as such was to introduce men to the beatific vision of 
the Divine Essence. Hence it was necessary that His 
human nature (as the instrumentum coniunctum divini- 
tatis) should enjoy the highest and fullest measure 
of that eternal life which He was to communicate to 
others. " Let it not be said," writes Kleutgen, 26 " that 
He does not dispense eternal life until after His glorifi 
cation ; for it was not in His glorification that He was 

24 Theologie der Vorzeit, Vol. 26 Theologie der Vorzeit, Vol. Ill, 
III, 2nd ed., p. 276, Miinster 1870. 2nd ed., p. 280. 

25 Wilhelm-Scannell, Manual, II, 
p. 147. 


the author of our salvation, but in the hardships and 
pains He endured from the manger to the Cross." 
It has been objected that if a passible Saviour was able 
to merit for us the glory of the Resurrection, there is no 
reason why the beatific vision should not come to us 
through the merits of a Redeemer who Himself lacked 
this prerogative. There is no parity between the two 
cases. Christ s mediatorial office, which was incompat 
ible with a glorified life in the body, made it neces 
sary for Him to postpone His bodily transfiguration until 
after the Resurrection. The beatific vision, however, did 
not interfere with the possibility of our Lord s agonizing 
passion and death, and, on account of His dignity and 
mission as the caput gratiae, had to be His from the 
very moment of His conception. Hence Aquinas justly 
argues : " Homo est in potentia ad scientiam beatorum, 
quae in Dei visione consistit et ad earn ordinatur sicut 
ad finem. . . . Ad hunc autem finem beatitudinis homines 
reducuntur per Christi humanitatem, secundum illud 
(Heb. 2, 10} : Decebat eum, propter quern omnia et 
per quern omnia, qui multos filios in gloriam adduxerat, 
auctorem salutis eorum per passionem consummari! Et 
ideo oportuit quod cognitio beata in Dei visione con 
sistent excellentisslme Christo homini convenwet, quia 
semper causam oportet esse potiorem causato." 27 

But how are we to reconcile Christ s life and suffer 
ing on earth, especially the agony of His sacred Pas 
sion, with the beatitude essentially involved in the 
immediate vision of God? Some theologians attempt to 
solve this difficulty by saying that the human soul of our 
Lord was filled with beatific joy in its upper, while sad 
ness and pain and sorrow afflicted its lower region. 28 But 

27 S. TheoL, 33., qu. 9, art. 2. a. 1699 ob Innocentio XII (Den- 

28 Cfr. Prop. 13 Fenelonii damn, zinger-Bannwart, Enchiridion, n. 


this theory hardly deserves serious consideration. Joy 
and sadness, happiness and sorrow, may co-exist in the 
spiritual soul of man, if they are due to different mo 
tives and directed towards different formal objects. The 
blessed martyrs exulted in the midst of cruel tortures. 
However, we must draw a sharp distinction between spir 
itual joy and bodily pain on the one hand, and spiritual 
joy and spiritual pain on the other. Spiritual joy is com 
patible with bodily pain, 29 but the simultaneous co-exist 
ence of spiritual joy and spiritual affliction has always 
been regarded as a most difficult problem in Christology. 
The fact that theologians generally have ranged it among 
the inscrutable mysteries rather than recede from their po 
sition, is a strong proof of the vital importance which they 
attach to the doctrine we are expounding. Among the 
manifold solutions that have been offered probably the 
most widely known is that of Melchior Canus. Canus 
draws a real distinction between the action of the intellect 
(actus intellectns = visio) and the action of the will 
(actus voluntatis gaudium) in the visio beatifica, and 
holds that Jesus on the cross continued to enjoy the vision 
of God, though without the beatitude ordinarily attending 
it. 30 This not altogether unlikely explanation had been 
adumbrated by St. Ambrose 31 and was adopted by Greg- 

J339): "Inferior Christi pars in 30 Cfr. De Locis Theol, XII, 13: 

cruce non communicavit superior! " Sicut per totam vitam Dominus 

suas involuntarias perturbationes." gloriam animae quasi premebat, ne 

29 Cfr. St. Thomas, S. Theol., 33, in corpus efflucrct, sic saltern in 

qu. 15, art. 5, ad 3: " Virtute cruce retinuit [= repressit ] gau- 

divinitatis Christi dispensative sic dium, quod suapte naturd ex clara 

beatitudo in anima continebatur, Dei notitia prodiret." 

quod non dcrivabatur ad corpus, ne 31 In Luc., 1. 10, n. 56: "Pro 

eius passibilitas et mortalitas tol- me doluit, qui pro se nihil habuit 

leretur; et cadem ratione delectatio quod doleret et sequestrata delecta- 

contemplationis sic rctinebatur in tione divinitatis aeternae, taedio 

mente, quod non derivabatur ad meae infirmitatis afficitur," 
vires scnsibilcs, nc per hoc dolor 
fensibilis tolleretur," 


ory of Valentia, Salmeron, and Maldonatus. But it 
hardly satisfies the enquiring mind. The intuitive vision 
of God is so inseparably connected with beatitude that, 
so far as we know, neither can exist apart from the other. 
A way out of the difficulty is offered by the the 
ory that the will of the Elect reacts differently, (i) 
towards the uncreated Good and (2) towards created 
good. Besides the essential happiness which flows from 
the beatific vision, the Elect in Heaven also enjoy a spe 
cies of accidental happiness derived from the spiritual con 
templation of created goodness. Like their respective ob 
jects, these two operations are numerically and formally 
distinct, though in the blessed state both rigorously ex 
clude sorrow and sadness. Yet, the incompatibility of 
joy and sadness is due to a natural rather than an es 
sential contrariety. There is at least no ontological 
reason why the soul of Christ, though in the full en 
joyment of the beatific vision, should not have been 
plunged into sadness and sorrow at contemplating the 
innumerable sins of mankind and the painful way of the 
Cross. A miracle of divine omnipotence may have tem 
porarily suspended the natural, though not essential, 
nexus between essential and accidental beatitude. 32 

y) A third argument is related to the problem 
concerning the origin of the Messianic and divine 
consciousness of Christ. Our Saviour must have 
been fully conscious of His Divinity and Messiah- 
ship from the very beginning, else there would be 
reason to doubt the infallibility of His testimony 
to the truths of salvation, especially to His own 

32 Cfr. Chr. Pesch, Praelect. Dogmat., Vol. IV, 3rd ed., pp. 146 sqq. 


divine Sonship and Divinity, and the meritorious- 
ness of the atonement. 

If we deny that Christ was constituted in the pos 
session of the beatific vision from the first moment of 
His existence, we shall find it difficult to determine 
in what manner and at what time His soul attained 
to an infallible consciousness of its Messiahship and 
personal union with the Godhead. We shall have to 
face this dilemma: Either Christ s human conscious 
ness was originally and inseparably bound up with His 
Messianic and divine consciousness, or there was a time 
when His self-conscious soul was not yet aware of its 
being constituted in the possession of the Messianic dig 
nity and the Hypostatic Union with the Divine Logos. 
In the first assumption there existed no other, surely no 
safer or more direct way of attaining to divine con 
sciousness than the beatific vision of God, which would 
include the contemplation of the Logos and the Hypo- 
static Union. Any other means of communication in 
ferior to this one would have compelled the soul of 
Christ to walk in the obscurity of faith with regard 
to its own Divinity, and for thirty-three long years 
firmly to hold it as a mere truth of faith, not as a mat 
ter of intuitive knowledge. Such an assumption is 
hardly compatible with Christ s repeated assertion 
(which sharply differentiates Him from all the prophets) 
that he testified only to that which He had Himself 
seen. 33 Let it not be objected that He testified as man 
to what He had seen as God; for it is not the Divine 
Logos that speaks and testifies in such passages as John 
III, II sqq., Ill, 27 sqq., VIII, 38, etc., but the man 

33 Cfr. John I, 17, III, n sqq., merous other passages of similai 
III, 27 sqq., VIII, 38 sqq., and nu- tenor. 


Jesus, and He speaks and testifies as one who understands 
perfectly what He has seen. Even Schell, probably 
the ablest defender of the new theory, admits that " faith 
had no room in Christ, but its place was taken by a most 
penetrating knowledge." 34 This " penetrating knowl 
edge," freed from the limitations of faith, must be con 
ceived as intuitive vision, for intuitive vision alone annuls 

To hold that Christ s human consciousness awoke be 
fore His divine consciousness, or to assert with the Mod 
ernists that " Christ did not always possess the conscious 
ness of His Messianic dignity," 35 is equivalent to saying 
that the soul of the Redeemer had to learn the fact of 
His Messiahship from elsewhere, since, according to this 
theory, it never enjoyed the beatific vision on earth. 
From what source could such knowledge have come? 
Not from a study of the prophets who had clearly pre 
dicted our Lord s Messiahship and Divinity, for Holy 
Scripture tells us that Jesus without any schooling knew 
" His Father " at the age of twelve, and had a thorough 
command of Sacred Scripture. He did not receive this 
knowledge by divine illumination from within. Apart 
from the beatific vision, in what could such illumination 
have consisted except enlightened faith? But faith, 
no matter how enlightened, does not see or know; it 
gropes in the dark amid doubts and temptations. 

Consequently, the divine consciousness in the human 
soul of our Saviour can have been derived from no other 
source than the beatific vision. As this divine con- 

34 Dogmatik, Vol. Ill, i, 183, Christus. Apologie seiner Messiani- 
Paderborn 1892. tat und Gottheit gegenuber der 

35 Cfr. Denzinger-Bannwart, En- neuesten unglaubigen Jesus-For- 
chiridion, n. 2035. The best refu- schung, Vol. I: " Das Bewusstsein 
tation of this Modernist error is by Jesu," Paderborn 1911. 

Hilarin Felder, O. M. Cap., Jesus 


sciousness is intimately bound up with Christ s human 
consciousness, which reaches back to His childhood, nay 
to the very instant of His conception, the divine con 
sciousness of our Lord and the beatific vision with which 
He was endowed, must have had their inception at pre 
cisely the same moment. 36 

d) Of considerably less importance than the 
questions just discussed are the Scholastic spec 
ulations regarding the extent of Christ s knowl 
edge of God and the created universe, as included 
in the visio beatified. 

It is of faith that God is absolutely incomprehensible 
to the created intellect even in the state of glory. 37 The 
soul of Christ was a finite creature, and therefore the 
beatific knowledge which it enjoyed, no matter how 
highly it may be rated, cannot have been equivalent to 
an adequate comprehension of the Divine Essence. The 
true doctrine of the Church on this point was trenchantly 
defended by St. Thomas against Fulgentius, 38 Alcuin, 39 
and Hugh of St. Victor. 40 " Est impossible," says the 
Angelic Doctor, " quod aliqua creatura comprehendat divi- 
nam essentiam, eo quod infinitum non coniprehenditur a 

36 dr. Condi. Colon, a. 1860, tit. sqq., Freiburg 1908. Cfr. also H. 

5, cap. 19 (Collectio Lacensis, t. Felder, Jesus Christus, Vol. I: Das 

V, p. 308) : " Fuisse in anima Bewusstsein Jesu, pp. 144 sqq., 

Christi praeter scientiam acquisitam Paderborn 1911, and F. G. Hall, 

etiam scientiam infusam, imo et The Kenotic Theory, New York 

visionem beatorum, et quidem inde 1898. 

ab ortu, magno consensu docent 37 Cfr. Pohle-Preuss, God: His 

theologi." The embarrassment of Knowability, Essence, and Attri- 

modern Protestant theology through butes, pp. 107 sqq. 

its false conception of the Messianic 38 V. supra, pp. 253 sq. 

consciousness of Christ, is well 39 De Trinit., II, 12. 

described by A. Seitz, Das Evan- 40 Opusculum de Scientia Animae 

gelium i>om Gottessohn, pp. 194 Christi. 


finito. Et ideo dicendum est quod anima Christi nullo 
modo comprehendit divinam essentiam." 41 Justly, there 
fore, did the Council of Basle reject the proposition of 
Augustine of Nazareth, that " the soul of Christ sees 
God as clearly and intensely as God sees Himself." 42 

This decision also affords us a key for the solution 
of the question whether or not the soul of our Lord 
was endowed with the scientia simplicis intelligentiae, 
i. e., a knowledge of those things which are possible to 
God s omnipotence, but never realized. To affirm this 
proposition would be to attribute to the human soul 
of Christ an adequate comprehension of the Divine Es 
sence itself. 43 The affirmative opinion is therefore quite 
generally rejected. Theologians are agreed, however, 
that Christ had a knowledge of all those things which fall 
under the scientia visionis, i. e., all really existing things, 
past, present, and future, including the most hidden cogi 
tations of the human heart. 44 This eminent though finite 
mode of knowledge safeguards the creatural character of 
the soul of Christ and corresponds to His twofold capa 
city of Head of the present economy and Judge of the 
living and the dead. 45 

Thesis II: Besides the scientia beata, the soul 
of Christ from the moment of its conception also pos 
sessed a knowledge immediately infused by God (sci 
entia infusa). 

Proof. Beatific knowledge is the immediate 
or intuitive vision, through the lumen gloriae, of 

41 5". TheoL, 33, qu. 10, art. i. comprehendere divinam virtutem et 

42 " Anima Christi videt Deum per consequens divinam essentiam." 

tarn dare et intense, sicut Deus 44 Luke IX, 47. Cfr. W. Hum- 

videt seipsum." (Sess. XXII.) phrey, "His Divine Majesty," pp. 

43 Cfr. St. Thomas, 5. TheoL, 33, 268 sqq. 

qu. 10, art. 2: "Hoc enim esset 45 Cfr. St. Thomas, 5". TheoL, 33, 


God and His creatures as mirrored in His Es 
sence. Infused knowledge is a knowledge of 
those creatures in themselves. Infused like bea 
tific knowledge is independent of the senses, 
though it cannot dispense with intellectual con 
cepts (species intelligibiles). 

As distinct from acquired or experimental knowledge, 
infused knowledge is connatural to the Angels, whereas 
man can enjoy it only as a preternatural prerogative of 
grace. 46 St. Augustine calls it " evening knowledge " (co- 
gnitio vespertina) in contradistinction to the " morning 
knowledge" (cognitio matutina) by which the Angels 
intue all things natural and supernatural immediately 
in the Divine Essence. Infused knowledge, therefore, 
differs widely from our ordinary knowledge, which de 
pends on sense perception and intellectual concepts ab 
stracted from phantasms. When granted to a human 
soul (as it was granted, for instance, to Adam and Solo 
mon), infused knowledge adapts itself to the specific na 
ture of the recipient. St. Thomas says of the infused 
knowledge of Christ : " Et ideo sicut in angelis secundum 
eundem Augustinum ponitur duplex cognitio, una soil, ma- 
tutina, per quam cognoscunt res in Verbo, et alia ves- 

qu. 10, art. 2: " Unusquisque intel- est, ut dicitur lo. 5, 27; et ideo 

lectus creatus in Verbo cognoscit anima Christi in Verbo cognoscit 

non quidem omnia simpliciter, sed omnia existentia secundum quod- 

tanto plura, quanta perfectius videt cumque tempus, et etiam hominum 

Verbum. Nulli tamen intellectui cogitatus, quorum est iudex." On 

beato deest, quin cognoscat in Verbo the views of St. Bonaventure with 

omnia quae ad ipsum spectant. Ad regard to this question see L. Jans- 

Christum autem et ad cius digni- sens, De Deo-Homine, Vol. I, pp. 

tatem spectant quodammodo omnia, 444 sqq. 

inquantum ei subiecta sunt omnia. 46 Cfr. Pohle-Preuss, God the Au- 

Ipse etiam est omnium iudex con- thor of Nature and the Supernat- 

stitutus a Deo, quia Filius hominis ural, pp. 207 sqq. 


pertina, per quam cognoscunt res in propria natura per 
species sibi inditas [ = infusas] , ita praeter scientiam 
divinam et increatam est in Christo secundum eius 
animam scientia beata, qua cognoscit Verbum et res in 
Verbo, et scientia infusa sive indita, per quam co 
gnoscit res in propria natura per species intelligibiles 
humanae menti proportionatas." 4T This passage effec 
tively refutes Schell s objection that " the body is merely 
an external additament designed to create the semblance 
of a human nature. A spirit who incidentally happens to 
have a body, even though he animates this body as his 
substantial form, is at most a compound of angel and 
man." 48 The unity and harmony of the inner life of 
the soul is no more disturbed by the possession of two 
higher modes of cognition than by the coexistence of 
sense and intellect. For the soul even after its separa 
tion from the body attains to heavenly beatitude in two 
ways: primarily through the vision of God, and sec 
ondarily through a twofold knowledge of the objects 
which are distinct from God, first as mirrored in the 
Divine Logos, and secondly as they are in themselves. 
After the resurrection of the flesh man will possess a 
third kind of knowledge, i. e., an experimental knowl 
edge which depends on sense impressions (see Eschatol- 
ogy). Why should these three modes of knowledge be 
incompatible in Christ? 

We do not propose this thesis as theologically cer 
tain. But whoever admits that the soul of Christ was 
constituted in the possession of the beatific vision from 
the moment of its creation, cannot consistently deny 
that it was also endowed with infused knowledge. A 
denial of the latter proposition would not, however, incur 

47 S. Theol., 3a, qu. 9, art. 3. 48 Dogmatik, III, i, in, 


theological censure, because we are dealing with a specu 
lative deduction and not a revealed truth. The case 
would be otherwise were one to assert that the human soul 
of Christ possessed neither beatific nor infused, but only 
acquired or experimental knowledge. This would be re 
pugnant to the Catholic faith. The Church has always 
held against Nestorius, Leporius, and the Agnoetae, that 
the human nature of Christ was endowed with the 
highest wisdom and absolutely exempt from ignorance 
and error. It is the common teaching of theologians that 
our Lord s human knowledge was both beatific and in 

a) While our thesis cannot be rigorously 
demonstrated from Sacred Scripture, it derives a 
high degree of probability from such texts as Is. 
XI, 2 : "Requiescet super eum Spiritus Domini, 
spiritus sapientiae et intellectus . . . consilii 
. . . scientiae And the spirit of the Lord shall 
rest upon him: the spirit of wisdom and of un 
derstanding, the spirit of counsel, and ... of 
knowledge." St. Thomas comments upon this 
manifestly Messianic passage as follows: ". . . 
sub quibus comprehenduntur omnia cognoscibilia; 
nam ad sapientiam pertinet cognitio omnium di- 
vinorum; ad intellectum autem pertinet cognitio 
omnium immaterialium; ad scientiam autem per 
tinet cognitio omnium conclusionum, ad consilium 
autem cognitio omnium agibilium! 49 "The spirit 
of the Lord shall rest upon him" means that 

40 . Theol., aa, qu. n, art. i. 


Christ shall be constituted in the possession of all 
knowledge and that His knowledge shall be in 
fused. 50 

The human knowledge of Christ is relatively 
infinite in extent, i. e., it is the highest and most 
complete knowledge which it is possible for any 
creature to have in the present economy, and 
consequently, both with regard to natural and su 
pernatural things, it is the ideal of all knowledge. 

This conclusion is confirmed by the words of St. 
John the Baptist as recorded in John III, 34 : " Quern 
enim misit Deus, verba Dei loquitur; non enim ad men- 
suram 51 dat Deus Spiritum For he whom God hath 
sent, speaketh the words of God: for God doth not give 
the spirit by measure." St. Fulgentius commentates this 
text as follows: " Ipse enim est qui dat, ipse est qui 
accipit; et quia potens est ab mensuram dare, ideo non 
potuit ad mensuram accipere. In forma enim Dei 
manens Spiritum dat, formam servi accipiens Spiritum 
accepit; sed quia ipse ad mensuram dat, ideo non ipse 
ad mensuram accepit; ipsum enim, quern ad mensuram 
dat, totum accepit." 52 

Whether Col. II, 3 can be quoted in support of our 
thesis is more than doubtful. 53 

b) Ecclesiastical Tradition favors the proposi 
tion that the soul of Christ had an inerrant knowl 
edge of all things past, present, and future, and 
that this knowledge positively excluded igno- 

50 Cfr. John I, 14, II, 25, VII, 15. 53 Cfr. St. Thomas, 6". TheoL, 33, 

51 e/c /le rpou. qu. 9, art. 3. 

52 Ep. 14 ad Ferrand. 



ranee. But it is not so decisive on the question 
whether this knowledge is derived from the 
scientia beata, or the scientia infusa, or both. 
Though the main point of contention between the 
Agnoetae and the Church has not yet been fully 
cleared up, 54 the history of this heretical sect jus 
tifies certain important conclusions. 

a) A sort of Agnoetism was propagated by the 
Arians, 55 and also by the Nestorians, 56 but the name of 
Agnoetae 57 is commonly applied to a sixth-century sect, 
whose chief tenet is supposed to have been that Christ 
was ignorant 58 of certain things, especially the day 
of judgment. 59 It is, however, uncertain whether the 
subject to which they attributed this ignorance was the 
human nature of our Lord or a fictitious Monophysitic 
compound of Divinity and humanity. Whereas the 
Monophysite opponents of Themistius, e. g., Timothy 
and Theodosius, represent Agnoetism as consistently 
Monophysitic, the Severians and Nicephorus Callistus 60 
understood them as attributing ignorance to the sacred 
humanity of Jesus. In any case it is certain that 
the champions of Catholic orthodoxy against the Ag 
noetae rigorously excluded all error and ignorance from 

54 Cfr. Fr. Schmid in the Inns- 57 They are also called Themis- 
bruck Zeitschrift fiir katholische tians, from their founder, Themis- 
Theologie, 1895, pp. 651 sqq. For tius, a Monophysite deacon of Alex- 
a well documented sketch of the andria. 

Agnoetae and their condemnation 58 ayvoia, ignoratitia. 

the student is referred to J. Lebre- 59 Cfr. Mark XIII, 32. 

ton, Les Origines du Dogme de la 60 Cfr. Nicephor. Callist., Hist. 

Trinite, pp. 458 sqq., Paris 1910. Eccles., XVIII, 50: ot /cat \eyovffi 

55 E. g., Eudoxius of Constanti- TOV Qebv Aoyov iravra fJ-ev ytvwff- 
nople. Keiv, TrdfJLiroXXa 5e dyvoelv TT)V 

56 E. g., Theodore of Mopsuestia fjvufJLevrjv avria KO,0 
and Nestprjus himself, 


the human soul of Christ by ascribing to it a relative 
omniscience in regard to all actually existing things, due 
to its Hypostatic Union with the Logos. Agnoetism 
they regarded as a positive heresy. The most prominent 
and the ablest among these champions of Catholic or 
thodoxy was Eulogius, Patriarch of Alexandria, 61 who, 
according to Photius, 62 taught that " Neque humanitas 
Christi C3 in unam inaccessibilis et substantialis sapientiae 
hypostasim admissa quidquam ut rerum praesentium ita 
futurarum poterit ignorare. 6 * . . . Quicumque enim vel 
divinitati ipsius vel humanitati ignorantiam adscribit, 
numquam certissimae temeritatis crimen effugiet." 65 
St. Sophronius calls Themistius " ignorantiae pater et 
genitor atque seminator nefandissimus" 6 * Pope St. 
Gregory the Great in two letters extolled Eulogius as 
a brave and clever champion of the Catholic faith. " De 
doctrlna vestra contra haereticos, qui dicuntur Agno- 
itae," he says, " fuit valde quod admiraremur, quod 
autem displiceret, non fuit. . . . Ita autem doctrina 
vestra per omnia latinis Patribus concordavit, ut mirum 
mihi non esset, quod in diversis linguis Spiritus non fuerit 
diversus. . . . Res autem est valde manifesta, quia quis- 
quis Nestorianus non est, Agnoita esse nullatenus po- 
test." G7 The last sentence is very important. In point 
of fact, though of Monophysitic origin, Agnoetism is 
ultimately reducible either to Arianism, which denies the 
Divinity of Christ, or to Nestorianism, which rejects 
the Hypostatic Union. If Christ were a mere creature, 
as the Arians hold, He would necessarily be subject to 

61 Died 608. Cfr. Bardenhewer- irapovruv OVTU ST) ovdh riav /teX- 
Shahan, Patrology, pp. 575 sq. \6vriav. 

62 BibL Cod., 230, n. 10 (Migne, cs Cfr. Lebreton, Les Origines du 
P. G., CIII, 1069 sqq.). Dogme de la Trinite, pp. 460 sq. 

63 T b dvOpwirivov. 6G /> Syn. ad Sergium. 

64 dyvorjaei ovn f wairep TUIV 67 Epist., 1. X, 39. 


ignorance and error; the same would follow from the 
Nestorian assumption that He was a person distinct from 
the omniscient Logos. It was for this reason, no doubt, 
that long before the time of Themistius the African 
bishops compelled the Gallic monk Leporius, who had 
incurred suspicion, to abjure Agnoetism as heretical. 
Among other things in which Leporius had gone astray is 
the question of the human knowledge of Christ. He 
states that when he had heard Christ charged with igno 
rance, he had always considered it a sufficient answer to 
say that the Lord was ignorant " secundum hominem/ but 
now he anathematized this opinion. 68 

Since, according to ecclesiastical Tradition, the rela 
tive omniscience of Christ, as man, has its source, prin 
ciple, and measure in the Hypostatic Union, it follows 
that it must have begun simultaneously with the Hypo- 
static Union, i. e., at the moment of His conception. 69 

) The Fathers differed in their interpretation 
of Mark XIII, 32 : "But of that day or hour no 
man knoweth, neither the angels in heaven, nor 
the Son, but the Father." 

As long as it was necessary to combat the Arian heresy 
that the Logos was subject to " ignorance " because He 
was a creature, the Fathers confined themselves to de 
es Cfr. Leporius, Libell. Emend., teaching of Gunther, J. Kleutgen, 
n. 10 (Migne, P. L., XXXI, 1229): Theologie der Vorzeit, Vol. Ill, pp. 
" Nunc non solum dicere non prae- 244 sqq., Miinster 1870; on the view 
sumo, verum etiam priorem ana- defended by H. Schell, L. Janssens, 
thematiso in hoc parte sententiam, De Deo-Homine, Vol. I, pp. 418 
quid did non licet, etiam secundum sqq., Freiburg 1901; on the errors 
hominem ignorasse Dominum pro- of the Modernists see the Syllabus 
phetarum." of Pius X (Denzinger-Bannwart, 
69 On the Agnoetism of the Prot- Enchiridion, n. 2032 sqq.) and Fel- 
estant Reformers cfr. Bellarmine, der, Jesus Christus, Vol. I. 
De Christo, IV, 1-5; on the false 


fending Christ s divine nature against the charge of ig 
norance, and some passages in their writings create 
the impression that they did it at the expense of His 
sacred humanity. Leontius Byzantinus in his contro 
versies with the Agnoetae went so far as to admit that the 
testimony of the earlier Fathers 70 was practically worth 
less in consequence of their having made this mistake. 
Eulogius excused them on the plea that "If sundry 
Fathers have admitted ignorance in the humanity of 
our Saviour, they have not set it down as an article of 
faith, but [made this admission] merely to reject the 
folly of the Arians, who shifted all human attributes to 
the Divinity in order to prove that the Divine Logos is 
a creature." 71 Petavius 72 takes a similar view, while 
Suarez, 73 Kleutgen, 74 and Stentrup, 75 vigorously defend 
the orthodoxy of the early Fathers. 

Some of the Fathers explain Mark XIII, 32 in a mystic 
sense, referring Christ s " ignorance " to His mystic body, 
i.e., the Church. 70 Others hold that when Christ said he 
did not know the day of judgment, He meant that He had 
no knowledge which He was free to communicate 
(scientia communicabilis), 77 nor any knowledge derived 
from His human intellect, abstracting from the Hy- 
postatic Union. 78 Of these three interpretations the 
second and third are simple and natural, whereas the 
first strikes one as factitious. It is perfectly consonant 
with the economy of salvation as proclaimed by our 

70 Notably Athanasius, Basil, 75 Christologia, thes. 73. 
Gregory Nazianzen, and Cyril of 76 Thus Origen, Gregory the 
Alexandria. Great, etc. 

71 In Photius Cod., 240. 77 This theory is held by St. 

72 De Incarn., XI, i. Hilary, St. Augustine, and others. 

73 In Summam TheoL, III, qu. 78 Thus Gregory Nazianzen, John 
10, art. 2. Damascene, and others. 

74 Theologie der Vorzeit, Vol. 
Ill, pp. 258 sqq. 


Lord on other occasions, 79 that the determination of the 
time of the last judgment should be reserved to the 
official sphere of the Father, and that the Son had con 
sequently no right to reveal it. 80 On the other hand it 
is obvious that the humanity of Christ, being a creature, 
could not of itself know the hidden counsels of Provi 
dence, though our Lord no doubt possessed this knowl 
edge by and through the Hypostatic Union, because He was 
the " Son of man " and destined to be the Judge of the 
living and the dead. 81 

c) The theological argument for our thesis 
is based on the fact that, though a true man, 
Christ was not a mere man, but the Godman. As 
Godman He had a formal claim to the most per 
fect knowledge of which His soul was capable. 82 
As a wayfarer He cannot have been less 
perfect than Adam, who was endowed with 
infused knowledge, 83 nor less wise than Solo 
mon, whose mind was directly enlightened by 

79 Cfr. Matth. XX, 23; Acts I, 7. pp. 157 sqq. On the exegetical in- 

80 Cfr. St. Augustine, Enarr. in terpretation of Mark XIII, 32, see 
Ps., 36, Serm. I, i : " Quia vero A. Seitz, Das Evangelium vom Got- 
Dominus noster lesus Christus ma- tessohn, pp. 251 sqq., Freiburg 1908; 
gister nobis missus est, etiam Filius W. T. C. Sheppard, O. S. B., " The 
hominis dixit se nescire ilium diem, Kenosis according to St. Mark," 
quia in magisterio eius non erat, in the Irish Theological Quarterly, 
ut per eum sciretur a nobis." Vol. V (1910), No. 19; J. Lebreton, 

81 Cfr. Gregory the Great, Ep., Les Origines du Dogme de la 
X, 39: "In natura quidem hu- Trinite, pp. 447458. 

tnanitatis novit diem et horam iudicii, 82 St. Thomas, 5. TheoL, 33, qu. 

sed tamen hunc non ex natura hu- g, art. 3. 

tnanitatis novit." Additional argu- 83 Cfr. Pohle-Preuss, God the 

ments in Kleutgen s Theologie der Author of Nature and the Super 

Vorzeit, Vol. Ill, pp. 256 sqq.; Chr. natural, pp. 207 sqq. 

Pesch, Praelect. Dogmat., Vol. IV, 


St. Paul teaches that Christ was from the very instant 
of His conception elevated to the headship of the angelic 
creation, 84 and that it was therefore congruous that His 
soul should know the purely spiritual beings subject to 
His rule not per species alienas, but per species proprias 
infusas, though of course only in so far as this angelic 
mode of knowledge is supernaturally communicable to 
a human soul. 85 

Thesis III: The soul of Christ likewise possessed 
a progressive experimental or empiric knowledge 
(scientia acquisita). 

This thesis may be said to voice the common 
teaching of theologians. 

Proof. Besides the divine knowledge which 
Jesus, qua man, enjoyed by virtue of the beatific 
vision, and besides the angelic knowledge infused 
immediately into His human ,soul, He also pos 
sessed acquired knowledge, i. e. } that specifically 
human knowledge which is gained through sense 
perception and the natural use of reason. 

This kind of knowledge was not, it is true, indispen 
sable to the perfection of His intellect. But along with 
the state which was His by virtue of the beatific vision, 
Christ had also assumed what theologians call the way 
faring state, namely that in which men are constituted 
during their mortal lives here upon earth, while on 

84 F. supra, pp. 243 sq. distinction between scientia infusa 

85 Cfr. St. Thomas, S. TheoL, 33, per se and per accidens, and the 
qu. n, art. 4. On the extent of controversies incident thereto, see 
this infused knowledge cfr. Suarez, De Lugo, De Myst. Incarn., disp. 
De Incarn., disp. 27 sq. ; on the 21, sect. i. 


the way to their heavenly home. 86 As a wayfarer He 
was entitled to the mode of knowledge appropriate 
to the state of earthly pilgrimage. Although by virtue 
of the scientia beata and the scientia infusa Christ 
knew everything that experience could teach Him, 
still He was after a fashion able to " learn," that is, to 
become acquainted with what He already knew, as it were 
from a different point of view, i. e., that of human ex 
perience. Such a knowledge, though limited in value, 
is not without its usefulness. As the " morning knowl 
edge " of the Angels by no means renders their infe 
rior " evening knowledge " valueless, though the two 
differ only in mode and origin but not in content, so the 
acquired knowledge of Jesus may have added new and 
valuable momenta to what He already knew from other 
sources. Was not His personal experience of actual 
suffering something totally different from the concept of 
His Passion previously existing in His human intellect? 
Cfr. Heb. V, 8: " Et quidem quum esset Filius Dei, 
didicit 87 ex ns, quae passus est, obedientiam And 
whereas indeed He was the Son of God, he learned 
obedience by the things which he suffered." 

a) That our Lord really possessed acquired 
knowledge can be proved from the fact that He 
was a perfectly organized man, equipped with all 
the natural faculties of a human being, both sen 
sitive and intellectual. His nature demanded 
experimental knowledge. To deny this would 
savor of Docetism. 88 

8 Cfr. W. Humphrey, S. J., The 88 The Docetae held that the sa- 

One Mediator, p. 262. cred humanity was fictitious and 

87 %}ia0V f apparitional. V. supra, pp. 41 sqq. 


Basing his argument on the Aristotelian and Scholastic 
distinction between the intellectus agens and the intel 
lectus possibilis,* 9 St. Thomas argues out this point as 
follows : " Nihil eorum, quae Deus in nostra natura 
plantavit, defuit naturae assumptae a Dei Verbo. Mani- 
festum est autem, quod in humana natura Deus plantavit 
non solum intellectum possibilem, sed etiam intellectum 
agentem. Unde necesse est dicere, quod in anima Christi 
fuit non solum intellectus possibilis, sed etiam intellectus 
agens. Si autem in aliis Deus et natura nihil frustra 
faciunt, . . . multo minus in anima Christi aliquid fuit 
frustra. Frustra autem est, quod non habet propriam 
operationem. . . . Propria autem operatio intellectus 
agentis est facere species intelligibiles actu, abstrahendo 
eas a phantasmatibus [= process of abstraction]. Sic 
igitur necesse est dicere, quod in Christo fuerint aliquae 
species intelligibiles per actionem intellectus agentis in 
intellectu possibili eius receptae: quod est esse in ipso 
scientiam acquisitam, quam quidem experimentalem 
vocant." 90 Expressed in modern terms this means : 
The human soul of Christ, like any other human soul, ac 
quired universal ideas by abstracting intellectual concepts 
from sensible phantasms. St. Luke tells us 91 that Jesus 
"advanced in wisdom," which, when applied to natural 
experience, must be understood not merely of a grad 
ual outward manifestation, but of real inward increase. 92 
" Quomodo proficiebat sapientia Dei?" asks St. Ambrose, 
and answers: " Doceat te ordo verborum. Profectus 
est aetatis et profectus sapientiae, sed humanae est. 
Ideo aetatem ante praemisit, ut secundum hominem 

89 On the Aristotelian theory of 90 S. TheoL, 33, qu. 9, art. 4. 

abstraction as developed by the l Luke II, 52 : irpoeiceirTe 

Scholastics, cfr. M. Maher, S. J., Kdi r)\iitla. 

Psychology, pp. 303 sqq., 8th ed., 92 V. supra, p. 237- 
London 1906. 


crederes dictum; aetas enim non divinitatis, sed corporis 
est. Ergo si proficiebat aetate hominis, proficiebat sa- 
pientid hominis, sapientia autem sensu proficit" 93 St. 
Thomas says : " Tarn scientia infusa animae Christi quam 
scientia beata fuit effectus agentis infinitae virtutis, qui 
pot est simul to turn operari; et it a in neutra scientia 
Christus profecit, sed a principio earn perfectam habuit. 
Sed scientia acquisita causatur ab intellectu agente, qui 
non simul totum operatur, sed successive; et ideo se- 
cundum hanc scientiam Christus non a principio scivit 
omnia, sed paulatim et post aliquod tempus, scil. in per- 
fecta aetate: quod patet ex hoc quod Evangelists simul 
dicit eum profecisse scientia et aetate." 94 

b) As appears from the last sentence of the preced 
ing quotation, the Angelic Doctor holds that there was 
a true advance in the experimental knowledge of Christ, 
and that this knowledge gradually increased until it had 
exhausted all those objects which can be known by 
means of the intellectus agens. In order to show the 
possibility of such a " natural omniscience " (which is 
not omniscience in the strict sense of the term) sundry 
theologians have had recourse to more or less fan 
tastic theories. Suarez, De Lugo, and among mod 
ern writers Tepe, adopted the theory of a scientia 
per accidens infusa, which St. Thomas had taught in 
his youth but retracted in the Summa Theological 
Others, like Cardinal Cajetan, held that the natural ex 
perimental knowledge of Christ was brought to the 
highest state of perfection by the successive presentation 
to His senses (through the ministry of angels) of all 
the various objects that go to make up the physical uni 
verse (fish, birds, brute beasts, the stars, etc.). Duran- 

93 De Incarn., VII, 71. 95 Cfr. also 5. Theol., 33, qu. 12, 

94 5. Theol., 3a, qu. 12, art. 2, art. i. 

ad i. 96 S. Theol., 3a, qu. 9, art. 4. 


dus, Marsilius, Gabriel Biel, and Cardinal Toletus took 
middle ground between these two extremes. They main 
tained that the knowledge which our Lord gained by the 
exercise of His natural faculties, though ineffably perfect, 
was not and never became absolutely infinite. It seems 
indeed sufficient to hold that Christ represents the unat 
tainable ideal of all empirical knowledge and natural sci 
ence. What Adam and Solomon were unable to learn by 
natural means and knew only by virtue of the scientia per 
accident infusa, was part of the connatural perfection 
of Christ and acquired by Him gradually in proportion 
to His advance in age. This theory safeguards the dig 
nity of the Divine Logos and at the same time does full 
justice to the dogma of the genuinity of the human nature 
of Jesus. Experimental knowledge is comparatively less 
perfect than either beatific or infused knowledge, but 
even though finite, it perfects and ennobles its possessor. 97 

READINGS: W. Humphrey, S. J., The One Mediator, pp. 252 
sqq., London s. a. J. Kirschkamp, Das menschliche Wissen 
Christi, Wiirzburg 1873. J. M. Harty, "The Modern Kenotic 
Theory," in the Irish Theological Quarterly, Vol. I (1906), Nos. I 
and 2. For the history of the " Kenotic problem " consult E. J. 
Hanna, "The Human Knowledge of Christ" in the New York 
Review, Vol. I (1905-6), Nos. 3 and 4; Vol. Ill (1908), Nos. 4 
and 5; also E. Schulte, O. F. M., Die Entwicklung der Lehre 
vom tnenschlichen Wissen Christi bis sum Beginn der Scholastik, 
Paderborn 1914. Lepicier, De Incarn. Verbi, Vol. I, pp. 395 sqq. 
M. Lepin, Christ and the Gospel, Philadelphia 1910. J. Kleut- 
gen, S. J., Theologie der Vorzeit, Vol. Ill, pp. 244 sqq., Miinster 
1870. Bellarmine, Controversiae de Christo, 1. IV, c. 1-5. J. 
Lebreton, Les Origines du Dogme de la Trinite, Note C, pp. 447 
sqq., Paris 1910. F. J. Hall (Anglican), The Kenotic Theory, 
pp. 176 sqq., New York 1898. M. Waldhauser, Die Kenose und 
die moderne prot. Christologie, Mainz 1912. J. Marie, De 
Agnoetarum Doctrina, Zagreb (Croatia) 1914. 

97 Cfr. Vasquez, III, disp. 45, c. Homo, 1. IV, sect. 2, c. i ; Tepe, 
2; Theoph. Raynaud, Christus Deus- Instit. Theol., Vol. Ill, pp. 564 sqq. 




i. PRELIMINARY NOTIONS. Worship is rever 
ential respect paid to another. It requires two 
numerically distinct beings : a person who exhibits 
respect and another person, or a thing, to whom 
or to which it is exhibited. There are as many 
ways of paying respect and homage as there are 
perfections which call for worship. The worship 
due to God is called adoration (cultus latriae). 
That worship to which creatures are entitled by 
reason of such supernatural excellences as they 
may possess in the order of sanctification and 
union with God, is called cultus duliae. Corre 
sponding to the unique excellence of the Blessed 
Virgin Mary as Mother of God, there is a special 
worship, which, to distinguish it from the inferior 
cult due to lesser saints, is called hyperdulia. 

Adoratio (Gr. TT/OOO-KW^O-IS), in the usage of the Church 
and of Scholastic theology, is a generic term, denoting 
sometimes latria, sometimes dulia. The true sense must 
in each instance be determined from the context. To 
render divine worship to a creature is idolatry and a most 
grievous sin. 

These different forms of worship admit of 
other distinctions, according as they are directed 
to a prototype or a mere ectype. 


By a prototype we understand the original and proper 
possessor of adorable prerogatives or excellencies. A 
prototype in this technical sense is always a person, never 
an object. Worship rendered to a prototype is called 
absolute (cultus absolutus). Absolute worship may 
again be subdivided into absolute latria and dulia. When 
exhibited to an ectype, which is always an object, never 
a person, worship is called relative (cultus relativus). 
Relative worship may also be subdivided into latria and 
dulia. Relative latria is the worship rendered, e. g., to 
an image of Christ or of the Blessed Trinity; relative 
dulia is the worship rendered to a relic, the picture of a 
saint, a flag, etc. 

A distinction of special importance lies be 
tween the material and the formal object of wor 
ship. By the material object of worship we 
understand the person or thing honored ; its for 
mal object is the immanent reason or motive for 
which honor is rendered. Since there can be no 
worship without some reason, material and formal 
object are always bound up together. The con 
nexion between the two may be either (i) per 
modum identitatis, as in the case of Almighty 
God, in whom nature and adorability coincide; 
or (2) per modum unionis physicae, as in the 
case of the humanity of our Lord, which becomes 
adorable by its Hypostatic Union with the Logos ; 
or (3) per modum unionis moralis, as in the case 
of images and relics of saints, which owe their 
character as objects of worship to the relation 


they bear to their respective prototypes. Wor 
ship per modum unionis moralis is always strictly 

A kind of subdivision of the formal object 
of worship is the so-called obiectum manifestati- 
vum, which plays such an important part in the 
beautiful devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. 
By obiectum manifestativum we understand a 
formal object of worship which, though in itself 
rather remote, is particularly effective in its ap 
peal to the worshipper. 

A beggar who kisses the hand of his benefactor does 
so for the reason that the goodness and liberality of the 
almsgiver manifest themselves in a special manner 
through that particular organ of the body. Such ven 
eration is at bottom nothing else than veneration of the 
benefactor himself. So we may prefer to adore God as 
our benefactor rather than as the Supreme Being, because 
His mercy touches our hearts and gives concrete expres 
sion, as it were, to the adorability of His Divine Majesty. 
Similarly, we adore the Five Wounds of our Divine 
Saviour, because they manifest His infinite love for us 
in a special manner; but the real and ultimate object of 
our worship is the Godman as such. 1 

2. THE DOGMA. The divine worship which 
we render to the Logos as such (Aoyos ao-apxo?) 
is identical with adoration of the one true God. 
The only two questions which can concern us here 

l Cfr. Franzelin, De Verbo Incarn., thes. 45 ; Billuart, De Incarn., 
diss. 23, art. i. 


are these : Are we justified in adoring Christ as 
the Word Incarnate (Ao yos evaapKos) ? and are we in 
duty bound so to adore Him? These questions 
resolve themselves into three others, namely: 
(i) Is the Godman (i. e., Christ in both His na 
tures) entitled to divine adoration (latria) ? (2) 
Must we also adore the man Jesus, i. e., the con 
crete sacred humanity of Christ? (3) Is it per 
missible to render divine worship (latria) to the 
several members of Christ s sacred humanity, in 
particular to His Sacred Heart? We shall an 
swer these questions in three distinct theses. 

Thesis I : Christ as the Godman is entitled to divine 

This thesis embodies a truth which is of faith. 

Proof. To adore Christ in a different way as 
man than as Son of God would be to countenance 
the heresy of Nestorius that there are two persons 
in the Godman. The Council of Ephesus (A. D. 
431) formally defined the true relation of the two 
natures by adopting the eighth anathematism of 
St. Cyril, to wit : "Si quis audet dicer e assump- 
tmn hominem coadorandum Deo Verbo . . . tam- 
quam alterum cum altero? . . . ac non potius 
und supplicatione 3 veneratur Emmanuel, . . . 
iuxta quod Verbum caro factum est, anathema sit 
If anyone dare to assert that the man assumed 

2 &$ crepov fv ere pw. 3 /"? TrpoaKvvriaci. 


into the Divine Logos must be adored as a Per 
son distinct from the Logos . . . and that Em 
manuel is not worshipped by one and the same act, 
. . . according as the Word was made flesh, let 
him be anathema." This same truth was still 
more clearly defined by the Fifth Council of 
Constantinople (A. D. 553) : "Si quis in duabus 
naturis adorari dicit Christum, ex quo duas adora- 
tiones introducunt separation Deo Verbo et sepa- 
ratim homini* vel si quis . . . non una adora- 
tione Deum Verbum incarnatum cum propria 
ipsius carne 5 adorat, . . . talis anathema sit 
If any one say that Christ is adored in two na 
tures, separately as the Divine Word and sepa 
rately as a man, or if any one do not adore God 
the Word Incarnate together with His own flesh 
by one act of worship, ... let him be anath 
ema." 6 Hence it is an article of faith that the 
Godman as such is entitled to the same worship 
as the Divine Logos. 

a) The Biblical argument for this thesis rests 
partly on the divine adoration rendered to our 
Lord by the magi, 7 the man born blind, 8 etc., and 
partly on Christ s positive claim to divine wor 
ship, which is echoed by His Apostles. He Him 
self commands "all men [to] honor the Son as 

rw 9ew A6yu> Kal I8i$ 6 Cfr. Denzinger-Bannwart, Enchi~ 

dvdpuirw. ridion, n. 120 and n. 221. 

5/icro ISias avrov (rap/cos- 7 Matth. II, n. 

8 John IX, 35 sqq. 


they honor the Father." 9 St. Paul says: "Let 
all the angels of God adore Him/ and lays it 
down as a divine precept "that in the name of 
Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in 
heaven, on earth, and under the earth." n 

b) The Fathers base the doctrine of the unica adora- 
tio due to the Godman on the fact that He was the Son 
of God and true God after His Incarnation as well as 
before. The Divine Logos became man in virtue of 
the Hypostatic -Union, consequently the man Jesus is 
true God and worthy of divine adoration. As St. Cyril 
told Nestorius : " We do not adore a man who is the 
bearer of a God, 12 but God made man." 13 Even Theo- 
doret of Cyrus, 14 who was suspected of Nestorian lean 
ings, confesses: "After (as before) the Incarnation 15 
we adore the one Son of God, 18 our Lord Jesus Christ, 
and call those infidels 1T who think otherwise." 

Thesis II: Because of its Hypostatic Union with 
the Logos, the humanity of our Lord is entitled to 
divine worship in itself, though not for its own sake. 

This proposition, though not an article of faith, 
is generally held to be a revealed truth (fidei 
proximum salt em). 

John V, 23. 12 0eo(t>6poi> avOpuirov. 

10 Heb. I, 6; cfr. Ps. XCVI, 7. 13 fvavOpwir-riaavTa Qeov. 

11 Phil. II, 10. Cfr. Apoc. V, n 14 Ep. ad Flav., 104. Other 
sqq. For other instances of divine Patristic texts in Petavius, De In- 
worship rendered to Jesus in the earn., XV, 3. Cfr. St. Thomas, S, 
Gospels see A. Seitz, Das Evan- TheoL, 3a, qu. 25, art. i. 

gelium vom Gottessohn, pp. 263 sqq., 15 KO.I pera TTJV Iva.vOp&iriiaiV. 

Freiburg 1908. For further infor- 16 eva TrpoaKWOVfJ-ev vlbv TOV 

mation consult Pohle-Preuss, The Geou. 
Divine Trinity, pp. 73 sqq. 



Proof. Let us first determine the state of the 
question. There is a large distinction between 
the two propositions : The humanity of Christ 
is adored in itself," and "The humanity of Christ 
is adored for its own sake." 

The former proposition means that the human nature 
of Christ is the immediate terminus or object of divine 
worship (obiectum materiale, sed partiale) ; the latter, 
that it is its motive or formal object. To assert the 
latter would be false and blasphemous, because the 
sacred humanity of Christ is essentially a creature. The 
adorability of Christ s human nature does not rest upon 
a Monophysitic deification, but simply and solely on the 
Hypostatic Union. Christ s humanity did not exist 
apart from the Logos, but was assumed into the latter as 
a quasi-part. Whatever belongs to a person substan 
tially (as in this case the humanity of Christ), is 
worthy of the same specific veneration as the person 
himself. The veneration exhibited to a monarch, e. g., 
is not limited to his soul, but extends to his body, and 
is in both respects a cultus absolutus, directed primarily 
to the royal personage and only in a secondary manner to 
whatever essentially belongs to that personage. Hence 
John Wiclif was wrong in asserting that the sacred hu 
manity of our Lord is entitled to relative worship only. 
The union of Divinity and humanity in the Godman 
creates more than a mere moral bond. 

The malicious insinuation of the Jansenist Council of 
Pistoia (1794), that "direct adoration of the manhood 
of Christ is equivalent to rendering divine honors to a 
creature," was formally condemned by Pope Pius VI. 18 

18 " Falsa, captiosa, pio ac debito praestito et praestando detrahens et 
cultui humanitati Christi a fidelibus iniuriosa." (Bull " Auctorem Fi- 


a) That the sacred humanity of our Lord is a 
fit material object of divine adoration (obiectum 
materiale partiale) can be proved from Sacred 
Scripture and the unanimous teaching of the 

Cfr. Apoc. V, 12: "The lamb that was slain 
is worthy to receive power, and divinity, and wis 
dom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and 

The Fathers adduce the following reasons : 
a) If we were not permitted to adore the sacred hu 
manity of our Redeemer directly, i. e., in itself, the Sec 
ond Person of the Most Blessed Trinity, i. e., the Divine 
Logos, since the Incarnation would be deprived of the 
worship of latria; for the Incarnate Word exists only 
as Godman. This argument is made much of by St. 
Athanasius, who says among other things : " We by no 
means adore a creature; this is an error of the heathen 
and the Arians. But we do adore the Lord of the crea 
ture, the God-Logos made flesh. For although the flesh 
is of itself something created, it has become the body 
of God. But in adoring this body we do not separate 
it from the Logos, nor do we detach the Logos, when 
we wish to adore Him, from His flesh. . . . Who, then, 
is so foolish as to say to the Lord : Depart from Thy 
body, that I may adore Thee ? " 19 St. Epiphanius ex 
presses himself in similar language. " Let no one say 
to the Only-begotten: Put away Thy body, that I may 
adore Thee, 20 but adore the Only-begotten One with the 

del," quoted by Denzinger-Bann- 20 tyes T& trw/cid, Iva <re irpo- 

wart, Enchiridion, n. 1561.) 
19 Ep. ad Adelphium, n. 3. 


body, 21 the Uncreated One with the temple which He 
assumed at His descent." 22 

)8) The assertion of the Apollinarists that those who 
worship the sacred humanity of our Lord adore a man 
and mere flesh, 23 is a shameless calumny which St. Atha- 
nasius thus indignantly repels in the first of his Two 
Books Against Apollinaris : " Again you say : We 
do not adore the creature. Ye fools! Why do you 
not consider that the created body of the Lord must 
receive more than the veneration which is due to the 
creature? For it has become the body of the increate 
Logos, and you adore Him whose body it is. [This 
body], therefore, is adored with due divine worship, be 
cause God is the Logos whose body it is. Thus the 
women . . . embraced his feet and adored. They held 
the feet, but adored God." 24 

y) Since the sacred humanity of Christ is in itself 
adorable, we must also render divine worship to His 
body and blood as really and truly present in the Holy 
Eucharist. In an explanation of Psalm XCVIII, 5 St. 
Ambrose remarks: "Per scabellum terra intelligitur, 
per terram autem caro Christi, quam hodie quoque in 
mysteriis [sc. Eucharistiae] adoramus et quam Apostoli 
in Domino lesu adorarunt. Neque enim divisus est 
Christus, sed unus" 25 St. Augustine expounds the 
same text as follows : " Adorate scabellum pedum eius. 
Fluctuans converto me ad Christum, quia ipsum quaero 
hie, et invenio quomodo sine impietate adoretur terra 
. . . et scabellum pedum eius. Suscepit enim de terra 
terram, quia caro de terra est et de carne Mariae carnem 

21 (jbv TUJ cuficiTL ?bv (Aovoyevvj the genuineness of this work. Cfr. 

22 Ancor., 4. Bardenhewer-Shahan, Patrology, p. 

23 avdp(i>Tro\a.Tpai, ffapKoXdrpai- 256. 

24 Contr. Apollin., I, 6. There 25 De Spiritu Sancto, III, n, 79. 
are, however, reasons for doubting 


suscepit. Et quiet in hac ipsa came hie ambulavit et 
ipsam carnem nobis manducandam ad salutem dedit 
nemo autem illam carnem manducat, nisi prius adoraverit 
inventum est, quemadmodum adoretur tale scabellum 
pedum Domini et non solum non peccemus adorando, 
sed peccemus non adorando." 2Q 

8) The worship we render to the sacred humanity of 
our Lord is not idolatry, because we do not adore mere 
flesh, but flesh hypostatically united with the Divine 
Logos. St. John Damascene develops this thought with 
an acuteness which might almost be termed Scholastic. 
" The flesh is not to be adored in its own nature," he 
says, " but it is adored with the Incarnate Logos, not in 
deed for its own sake, but for the sake of its Logos, 
with whom it is hypostatically united. For we do not 
profess that it is the naked, simple flesh which is adored, 
but the flesh of God, or God made flesh." 2T 

b) It is, however, a matter of debate among 
divines whether the sacred humanity of Christ 
considered in itself, i. e., without regard to the 
Hypostatic Union, besides latria is also entitled 
to the worship of dulia, or, more specifically, 
hyperdulia, directed solely to His created perfec 
tions, e. g., sanctifying grace and the seven gifts 
of the Holy Spirit. 28 

The Thomists 29 take the affirmative side. 

Suarez, who agrees with them, says that Christ s title 

26 In Ps., 98, 5. Schwetz, Theol. Dogmat., t. II, 2nd 

27 De Fide Orth., IV, 3. For ed., pp. 62 sqq., Vindobonae 1880. 
additional Patristic evidence consult 28 V. supra, Article i. 
Vasquez, In S. Theol. , III, disp. 95 29 Cfr. Billuart, De Incarn., diss. 
sq.; Petavius, De Incarn., XV, 3 sq.; 23, art. 3. 


to the worship of hyperdulia is based upon the innumer 
able and exalted creatural prerogatives, both natural 
and supernatural, of His sacred humanity. 30 But this 
theory is open to the grave objection 31 that such an 
inferior species of worship might easily lead to a dis 
paragement of Our Lord s divine dignity. The theo 
retical truth that our Lord is entitled to various kinds 
of worship does not justify us in actually exhibiting to 
Him a cultus which, at its lowest, sinks below the 
level of latria, to which His sacred humanity has a strict 
claim. No good Catholic would dream of honoring the 
Sovereign Pontiff merely in his capacity of Bishop or 
Cardinal, though these titles and the dignity correspond 
ing to each are no doubt included in the papal prerog 
atives. Similarly, though Christ s sacred humanity is 
endowed with certain prerogatives which in themselves 
are entitled to no more than hyperdulic worship, we do 
not worship Him merely with the veneration which we 
exhibit, e. g., to His Blessed Mother, because to ren 
der Him this lower kind of worship would be equiv 
alent to denying Him the strictly divine adoration 
to which He also has a right, just as the recognition of an 
adoptive sonship in the man Jesus consistently leads to 
a denial of His natural Sonship. 32 Billuart is there 
fore guilty of a sophism when he says: "Humanitas 
sic praecisa potest amari et laudari, ergo et adorari 
(soil hyperdulid)" 3 * To consider Christ s created pre- 

30 " Si Christus ut homo praecise quez (In S. Theol., Ill, disp. 96, c. 
adoretur propter dignitatem et ex- 4), De Lugo (De Myst. Incarn., 
cellentiam, quam eius humanitas ha- disp. 35, art. 3), Chr. Pesch (Prae- 
bet ex vi unionis, ilia adoratio non lect Dogmat., Vol. IV, 3rd ed., pp. 
erit perfecta latria, sed inferior ... 114 sqq.). 

et proprie hyperdulia dicitur." (De 32 V. supra, pp. 196 sqq. 

Incarn., disp. 53, sect. 2, n. 7.) 33 De Incarn., disp. 23, art. 3. 

31 Emphasized especially by Vas- 


rogatives abstractly for themselves, to admire, to love 
and to praise them, is not the same as to render them 
the worship of hyperdulia. Since it is impossible to sep 
arate these prerogatives from the Person of the Logos 
and to argue that, if Christ s sacred humanity, which 
is endowed with so many graces, existed in a separate 
human person apart from the Logos, it would be en 
titled to a higher degree of hyperdulic worship than the 
Blessed Virgin Mary, is dogmatically inadmissible for 
the reason that the sacred humanity with all its preroga 
tives is inseparably (dxcopwrrois) united to the Person of 
the Logos. 

St. Thomas seems to admit that we may render 
to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ the worship of 
diilia side by side with that of latria. " Adoratio hu 
manitatis Christi," he says, " dupliciter potest intelligi: 
uno modo, ut sit eius sicut rei adoratae, et sic adorare 
carnem Christi nihil est aliud quam adorare Verbum Dei 
incarnatum. . . . Alio modo potest intelligi adoratio hu- 
manitatis Christi, quae fit ratione humanitatis Christi 
perfectae omni munere gratiarum, et sic adoratio hu 
manitatis Christi non est adoratio latriae, sed adoratio 
duliae, ita soil, quod una et eadem persona Christi adore- 
tur adoratione latriae propter suam divinitatem et adora- 
tione duliae propter perfectionem humanitatis! 34 This 
passage has been variously interpreted. Franzelin un 
derstands St. Thomas as teaching that the sacred human 
ity of Christ is simply the obiectum manifestations of the 
only kind of worship which we are permitted to render 
Him, vis.: latria.^ Chr. Pesch holds that in the opinion 
of the Angelic Doctor the worship of latria virtually in 
cludes that of dulia and hyperdulia respectively, but that 

34 S. Theol., aa, qu. 25, art. 2. 

36 Franzelin, De Verbo Incarn., thes. 45, coroll. 2 f 


the permissibility of the former does not argue the per 
missibility of the latter. 36 But such interpretations seem 
unwarranted. Medina, Billuart, L. Janssens, and others 
explain the passage literally, so that for once we find 
ourselves compelled, with all due reverence, to devi 
ate from what on the face of it appears to be the 
teaching of the Angelic Doctor. At the present time 
there is a special reason for taking a different view of the 
question than did Aquinas. Despite the innumerable hy- 
perdulic excellencies proper to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, 
the Church regards the worship paid to this particular 
organ of our Lord s human body as exclusively latreutic. 

Thesis III : The sacred humanity of Christ as a 
whole, and its several members, especially His Sacred 
Heart, are entitled to divine adoration (latria). 

This thesis embodies a well-established theo 
logical conclusion. 

Proof. The adorability of Christ s human na 
ture in its totality is entirely due to its Hypostatic 
Union with the Logos. This applies a fortiori 
to its constituent parts, such as, e. g., His soul, 
His Precious Blood, the Five Wounds of His Sa 
cred Body, all of which are inseparably united 
with the Logos. 

a) Devotion to any one of these parts, therefore, prop 
erly takes the form of adoration (cultus latriae). 
Though immediately directed to these separate parts or 
organs, the formal object or motive of such adoration 
is the Godhead itself, or, concretely, the Divine Logos, 
who is hypostatically united with Christ s sacred hu- 

stPraelect. Dogmat., Vol. IV, p. 115. 


manity, both in its totality and in its several parts. The 
Acts of the Nicene Council, which were cited by the 
Council of Ephesus, though their authenticity is not 
entirely beyond doubt, contain this passage : " Confite- 
mur D. N. lesum Christum . . . to turn adorabilem 
etiam cum corpore, sed non secundum corpus adorabilem, 
. . . totus quippe ergo Deus etiam cum corpore, non 
secundum corpus; totus adorandus etiam cum corpore, 
non propter corpus." 37 

Upon this principle is based the devotion to the Sacred 
Heart, inaugurated by Sister Margaret Mary Alacoque, 
of Paray-le-Monial in Burgundy (d. 1690). Blessed 
and nurtured by the Roman Pontiffs, this devotion has 
spread over the Christian world and proved a rich source 
of blessings. Though opposed by the Jansenists, it was 
officially approved in 1765, and soon became immensely 
popular. On August 26th, 1850, Pope Pius IX raised 
the Feast of the Sacred Heart to the rank of a festival of 
the Universal Church, and at the dawn of the twentieth 
century, the immortal Leo XIII, by a solemn act of con 
secration performed in all the churches of the universe, 
dedicated the entire human race to the Sacred Heart of 

The Jansenistic Council of Pistoia referred to the 
adoration of the Sacred Heart as " novel, erroneous, or at 
least dangerous," but Pope Pius VI, in his dogmatic 
Bull " Auctorem Fidei" (1794), denounced this opinion 
as " false, venturesome, pernicious, offensive to pious 
ears, and injurious to the Apostolic See." 38 In the same 
Bull the insinuation that the faithful adore the Heart of 

37 Cfr. Hardouin, Condi., Vol. I, stolicam Sedem iniuriosa." (Den- 
p> I 6 39 . zinger-Bannwart, Enchiridion, n. 

38 " Falsa, temeraria, perniciosa, 1562.) 
piarum aurium offensive, in Apo- 


Jesus apart from the Godhead was condemned as " cap 
tious and injurious to the faithful worshippers of the 
Sacred Heart," who, in the words of the Pontiff, adore 
this organ of our Lord s human body " as the Heart of 
the Person of the Logos, with which it is inseparably 
united." 39 

The dogmatic reasons alleged in these pontif 
ical decisions fully coincide with those we have 
adduced in confirmation of our Second Thesis. 
The Sacred Heart is the material and partial, 
though not the formal object, of divine adoration 
(latria). In other words, we worship it "in it 
self, but not for its own sake." The sole formal 
object and motive of adoration is its Divinity, due 
to the Hypostatic Union. 

It may be asked: What particular motives 
prompt the Church to urge the faithful to wor 
ship the Sacred Heart of Jesus in preference to 
other organs of His body? She must have spe 
cial reasons for doing this, since not every de 
votion that is dogmatically unobjectionable is 
recommended for general adoption. We can 
conceive of devotions which, though dogmat 
ically correct, might even cause disedification and 

The worship of any special organ of our 

39 ". . . quasi fideles cor lesu unitum est : . . . captiosa, in fideles 

adorarent cum separatione vel prae- cordis lesu cultores iniuriosa." 

cisione a divinitate, dum illud ado- (Const. " Auctorem Fidei," in Den- 

rant ut est cor lesu, cor nempe zinger-Bannwart s Enchiridion, n. 

personae Verbi, cui inseparabiliter 1563.) 


Lord s sacred Body does not hinge entirely on 
the question whether that particular organ is 
adorable in itself, but primarily on the question 
whether the worship rendered to it is apt to man 
ifest our Lord s condescension and love for hu 
mankind, and to bring Him nearer to us. From 
this point of view it may safely be asserted that 
no organ of our Saviour s body is so apt to serve 
as obiectum manifestativum as the Sacred Heart, 
regarded as the material seat of Christ s thean- 
dric love for mankind. In the languages of all 
nations, and particularly in that of the Sacred 
Scriptures of both the Old and the New Testa 
ment, the heart is the symbol of love. 40 

The teaching of the Church was misinterpreted by 
Camillus Blasius, an auditor of the Rota, who pub 
lished a shallow dissertation at Rome in 1771 under 
the title Dissertatio de Festo Cordis lesu. He claimed 
that the symbolic, not the material Heart is the object 
of our adoration, which is tantamount to saying that the 
Church proposes to the worship of the faithful an in 
tangible metonymy, a substanceless metaphor, an abstract 
symbol. Can this be possible ? It is true that the Sacred 
Congregation of Rites, in the decree by which it insti 
tuted the Feast of the Sacred Heart (February 6th, 
1765), employed the phrase: "[Hoc cultu] symbolice 
renovari memoriam illius divini amoris, quo unigenitus 
Dei Filius humanam suscepit naturam." But this phrase 

40 The circumstance that modern ment. Cfr. Leroy, De SS. Corde 

physiology assigns the ganglia as lesu eiusque Cultu, pp. 22 sqq., 

the seat of love as a sensitive af- Leodii 1882. 
faction, does not impair this argu- 


must be interpreted in accordance with the petition of 
the Bishops of Poland, to which the decree was a reply. 
In that petition we read : " En res, quam lesus colendam 
proponit, nimirum cor suum sacro sanctum, non tantum 
ut est symbolum omnium interiorum affectionum, sed ut 
est in se." 41 The matter was cleared up beyond a per- 
adventure by Pope Pius VI in his Bull " Auctorem 
Fidel": ". . . illud adorant [fideles]," he says, " ut est 
cor lesu, cor nempe personae Verbi, cui inseparabiliter 
unitum est ad eum modum, quo exsangue corpus Christi 
in triduo mortis sine separatione a divinitate adorabile fuit 
in sepulcro." 42 Surely it was not the " symbolic " Heart 
that was " inseparably united with the Person of the 
Logos," any more than it was the " symbolic " body of 
the Saviour that reposed for three days in the tomb. 43 

The Church has solemnly approved the wor 
ship of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and sanc 
tioned it liturgically by the incorporation of spe 
cial prayers in her Breviary and Missal. Hence 
Catholics are no longer free to reject this ad 
mirable devotion as incorrect or inadmissible. 
All good Christians will hail with joy and join in 
the adoration of that Divine Heart which beats 
for us in undiminished love both in Heaven and 
on our altars. Amid the spiritual afflictions of 
our cold and unbelieving age nothing is so well 

41 Cfr. N. Nilles, De Rationibus 43 On the divergent opinions held 
Festorum SS. Cordis lesu et Puris- by different theologians in regard 
simi Cordis Mariae, 4th ed., pp. 120 to the proximate object of the wor- 
sqq., Ratisbon 1885. ship of the Sacred Heart, cfr. Chr. 

42 Cfr. Denzinger-Bannwart, En- Pesch, Praelect. Dogmat,, Vol. IV, 
chiridion, n. 1563. pp. 124 sq. 


justified as the ardent petition: "Sacred Heart 
of Jesus, have mercy on us !" 

READINGS : Wilhelm-Scannell, A Manual of Catholic The 
ology, Vol. II, pp. 117, 2nd ed., London 1901. S. J. Hunter, S. J., 
Outlines of Dogmatic Theology, Vol. II, pp. 407 sqq., 2nd ed., 
s. a. * L. Leroy, De SS. Corde lesu eiusque Cultu, Leodii 1882. 
J. Jungmann, S. J., Die Andacht sum hi. Herzen Jesu und die 
Bedenken gegen dieselbe, 2nd ed., Freiburg 1885. N. Nilles, S. 
J., De Rationibus Festorum SS. Cordis lesu et Purissimi Cordis 
Mariae, 2 vols., 5th ed., Ratisbon 1885. IDEM, The Devotion to 
the Sacred Heart (tr. by W. H. Kent, O. S. C), London 1905. 
H. J. Nix, S. J., De Cultu SS. Cordis lesu Notiones quaedam The- 
ologicae, 2nd ed., Aug. Vindel. 1886. W. Humphrey, S. J., The 
One Mediator, pp. 272 sqq., London s. a. J. V. Bainvel, La 
Devotion au Sacre-Coeur de Jesus, Doctrine, Histoire, 3rd ed., 
Paris 1911. J. de Gallifet, S. J., The Adorable Heart of Jesus, 
3rd ed., London 1908. 


In the text (pp. 90 sq.) we have given the traditional 
view of the teaching of Nestorius. This view is based 
on the writings of his opponents, especially St. Cyril. 
More recently the publication by Loofs, of over three 
hundred fragments of Nestorius own writings, and by 
F. Nau, of a hitherto unknown work written by him 
during his exile under the pseudonym of " Heraclides 
of Damascus," x has given rise to a controversy, in 
which the orthodoxy of Nestorius was vehemently de 
fended against Pope Celestine I by Bethune-Baker, Har- 
nack, and Duchesne. The majority of Catholic savants, 
however, hold that the traditional account of Nestorianism 
requires no correction in the light of the newly discovered 
writings of the unfortunate patriarch, especially since it 
is not at all likely that his Christological teaching differed 
in any essential respect from that of his master Theo 
dore of Mopsuestia. 

The meaning which Nestorius attached to Trpoo-wTrov 
remains obscure, and the term, as used by him, may be 
interpreted in different ways. This is not surprising, as 
Nestorius was an exegete and a historian, not a philoso 
pher. M. Jugie probably comes nearest the truth when 
he says 2 that the ev irpoawTrov resulting from the evwo-ts 
Tr/aoo-anrcoi/ is simply a very intimate union of the divine 
with a human person. According to this view there are 

l Nestorius, Le Livre de d Hera- 2 Nestorius et la Controverse 

elide de Damas, Paris 1910. Nestorienne, pp. 94 sqq., Paris 




actually two distinct persons in Christ. Junglas 3 holds 
that the essence of Nestorianism consists not so much in 
the assumption of a twofold personality, as in the proba 
tionary theory peculiar to the Antiochene school, viz.: 
that Christ was compelled to merit the so-called hypostatic 
union, which began only with His glorious Resurrection, 
by patient suffering and obedience to the will of God; in 
other words, that, though he may by a sort of prolepsis 
be called " Son of God " from the moment of His con 
ception, He did not become true God until after His 
death. It is in accord with this theory, according to 
Junglas, that the term 0eoTo*os must be interpreted in the 
writings of Nestorius : Mary was not really the mother 
of God, though she may be called thus per anticipationem, 
just as the mother of a man who is raised to the episco 
pate may be called the mother of a bishop. Whether 
this explanation can be made to square with Nestorius 
teaching on the Holy Eucharist (where he neglects to 
emphasize the hypostatic union of the two natures), is 
not for us to decide. But no matter how the Christology 
of the unfortunate patriarch be interpreted in the light 
of his own writings, he certainly did deny that Christ 
was true God from the moment of His conception, and, 
furthermore, drew so sharp a line between the divine and 
the human attributes of our Lord that they can no longer 
be ascribed to one person. In other words, it is an 
inevitable corollary of Nestorianism that there are two 
persons in Christ, and consequently the system was justly 
condemned as heretical in the anathematisms of St. Cyril. 4 

3 Die Irrlehre des Nestorius, * Cfr. the Katholik, of Mayence, 

Treves 1912. I9i3> Ii PP- 2 33 sqq., 437 sqq. 



ABELARD, 197. 

Abert, R, 146. 

Abgar, King, 70, 71. 

Abraham, 64, 75, 107, 224. 

Abstraction, Aristotelean the 
ory of, 275. 

Abucara, Theodore, 127, 129, 

Acacius^of Constantinople, 153. 

Acephali, 148. 

Acts, The three hierarchic, 245. 

Actus existendi, 137. 

Adam (see also Son of Adam), 
61, 63, 64, 65, 67, 70, 79, 107, 
209, 248, 264, 272, 277. 

Adoption, 202 sq. 

Adoptionism, 22, 60, 183, 192, 
196 sqq. 

Adorability of Christ s human 
ity, 229, 278 sqq. 

Adoratio, 278. 

Advance, Christ s, in wisdom, 
age, and grace, 237, 275 sqq. 

Agatho, Pope, in, 156, 157, 
158, 160. 

Agnoetae, 254, 266, 268 sqq., 

Agobard of Lyons, 196. 

Albertus Magnus, 130. 

Alcuin, 196, 199, 262. 

Alexandria, 109. 

Alexandria, Council of, 50. 

Alexius Cpmnenus, 143. 

Alzog-Pabisch-Byrne, 42, 62, 91, 

Ambrose, St., 7, 53, 57, 76, 99, 
152, 190, 227, 258, 275, 286. 

Amicus, Francis (S. J.), 218. 
Ammianus Marcellinus, 34. 
Anabaptists, 62. 
Angels, The, 117, 240, 243 

sqq., 264, 273, 274, 276, 283. 
Anointment, Christ s, 227 sq. 
Anselm, St., 219. 


" AvQpaj-rros 0eo06pos, 191. 
Avridoffis TUIV /Siw/u.drwj , 184 sqq. 
Antoine, 127. 
Antoninus Pius, 23, 24. 
Apelles, 25, 39, 61. 
Aphthartodocetae, 73, 80, 84, 


Apocalypse, 69. 
Apollinarianism, 48 sqq., 210, 


Apollinaris, 48, 49, 109, 112, 286. 
Apologetic argument for the 

Divinity of Christ, 28 sqq. 
Apostates, 242. 
Apostles, 227. 
Apostles Creed, The, 42, 101, 

169, 195. 

Arendzen, J. P., 41. 
Arianism, 48 sqq., 76, 80, 191, 

268, 269, 285. 

Aristides of Athens, 23, 25. 
Aristotle, 72, 113. 
Arius, 48. 
Armenia, 148. 
Arnobius, 105. 
Arriaga, 126. 
Ascension, 238. 
Assemani, 176. 
Athanasian Creed, 3, 4, 6 sq., 

SO, 112. 

Athanasius, St., 6, 7, 48, 49, 50, 




58, 67, 84, 91, 1 01, 1 06, 148, 
151, 153, 271, 285, 286. 

Atzberger, L., 246. 

" Auctorem Fidel" 291, 292, 

Augustine of Nazareth, 263. 

Augustine, St., 7, 47, 57, 59, 84, 
91, 99, 103, 114, 122, 150, 152 
sq., 164, 191, 199, 200, 205, 
210, 214, 215, 217, 229, 234 sq., 
252, 264, 271, 272, 286. 

Azarias, Brother, 213. 


BACH, J., 8, 206. 

Bade, J., 37. 

Bagdad, 149. 

Bainvel, J. V., 295. 

Baltzer, 120. 

Baradai, Jacobus, 148. 

Bardenhewer, O., 27, 81, 91, 

Bardenhewer-Shahan, 21, 22, 
23, 25, 45, 49, 61, 71, 73, 76, 
81, 89, 91, 115, 131, 156, 161, 
162, 174, 193, 269, 286. 

Barnabas, Epistle of St., 21 sq. 

Baronius, 77. 

Bartmann, B., 15, 69. 

Basil, St., 66, 67, 271. 

Basilides, 41. 

Basilidians, 41. 

Basle, Council of, 263. 

Batiffol, P., 35, 38, 104. 

Bautz, 8. 

Bayle, Pierre, 120, 121. 

Beatific vision of Christ, 248, 
249 sqq. 

Beatus of Astorga, 196. 

Beck, A., 81. 

Bellarmine, 7, 18, 223, 243, 270, 

Benedict XIV, 173, 194. 

Berengar, 77. 

Berliere, 83. 

Bernard, St., 83, 154. 

Bertieri, F. L, 8. 

Bertram, A., 7. 

Bethune-Baker, J. F., 99, 115. 

Beyrout, 173. 

Biel, Gabriel, 172, 244, 277. 

Billot, Cardinal, 8, 138, 141, 222, 

Billuart, 7, 30, 138, 141, 143, 

195, 203, 219, 223, 243, 244, 

289, 288, 290. 
Blasius, Camillus, 293. 
Bleeding hosts, 173. 
Blood, The Precious, 170 sqq., 

Bonaventure, St., 58, 60, 77, 

132, 136, 145, 221, 236, 264. 
Bougaud-Currie, 12, 37, 246. 
Boulogne, 173. 
Bowden, H. S., 37. 
Bradley, 139. 
Brewer, H. (S. J.), 7. 
Bruges, 173. 
Bulsano, Alb. a, 39. 
Bunsen, 25. 
Burg s Kontrovers-Lexikon, 



Cajetan, Cardinal, 138, 276. 

Canus, Melchior, 258. 

Capitaine W., 37. 

Capreolus, 138. 

Carleton, 223. 

Carmen, 104. 

" Caro Christi vivified," 182. 

Catholic Encyclopedia, 8, 71, 

149, 197. 
Catholic Fortnightly Review, 2, 


Celestine I, Pope, 91. 
Celsus, 104, 120, 121, 
Cerinthus, 43, 102. 
Chable, FL, 36. 
Chalcedon, Council of, 50, 62, 

87, 97, 108, 112, 115, 140, 149, 

151, 154, 156, 193, 211. 
Chandlery, P. J. (S. J.), 70, 

Chapman, Dom J. (O. S. B.), 

Christ, Offered Himself as a 



sacrifice, 2; Not a perfect 
image of the Trinity, 3; In 
the Athanasian Creed, 4; 
Constitutive elements of, 5; 
True God and true man, 9 
sqq. ; The Divinity of, 10 
sqq. ; As Logos, 19 sq. ; As 
the Messias, 29 sq. ; As the 
ideal " Superman," 32 ; His 
sinlessness, 32 sq. ; His Di 
vine Sonship, 33 ; His proph 
ecies, 34; His miracles, 34 
sqq. ; His moral character, 
35; The Humanity of, 39 
sqq.; Reality of His human 
nature, 41 sqq.; Integrity of 
same, 48 sqq.; His inter 
course with men, 52 sqq. ; 
Adamic origin of, 61 sqq. ; 
His mother, 68 sq. ; His out 
ward aspect, 70 sq. ; Passibil- 
ity of His human nature, 72 
sqq.; The "Man of Sor 
rows," 75 ; St. Hilary s teach 
ing ^ on the passibility of 
Christ, 76 sqq. ; Limitations 
of Christ s passibility, 81 
sqq.; The Hypostatic Union, 
85 sqq. ; The dogma, 87 sqq. ; 
As defined against Nesto- 
rianism, 89 sqq. ; Demon 
strated from Scripture, 92 
sqq. ; From the Fathers, 97 
sqq. ; Speculative develop 
ment of the dogma, 116 sqq.; 
Controversy regarding the 
"double existence" of, 137 
sqq. ; Inconfusion of the two 
natures in, 147 sqq. ; The ex 
istence of one Divine Person 
in two perfect natures, 147 
sqq. ; The existence of two 
wills in, 154 sqq. ; Three dis 
tinct operations in, 162 sqq.; 
Inseparability of the two na 
tures, 166 sqq. ; Attributes of, 
according to His Divinity, 179 
sqq. ; The Communication of 
Idioms, 184 sqq. ; The Divine 
Sonship of, 196 sqq.; Attri 

butes of, according to His 
humanity, 207 sqq.; Holiness 
of, 207 sqq. ; Human knowl 
edge of, 247 sqq.; Beatific, 
249 sqq.; His Divine and 
Messianic consciousness, 259 
sqq.; Infused knowledge of, 
263 sqq. ; Experimental 
knowledge of, 273 sqq.; 
Adorableness of, 278 sqq. 

"Christ," The name, 228 sq. 

Christology, 2, 6. 

XpitrroTo/cos, 90. 

" Christus est servus Dei" 191 

Chrysostom, St. John, 176, 199, 

Church, The Catholic, 34, 241, 
242 sq. 

Church, The triumphant, 176, 

Circuminsessio, 179 sqq. 

Claudianus Mamertus, 76. 

Clemens, 146. 

Clement of Alexandria, 26, 70. 

Clement, St. (of Rome), 20 
sq., 55- 

Clement VI, Pope, 171. 

Collius, Fr., 172. 

Coleridge, H. J. (S. J.), 29, 39, 

Cologne, Council of, 262. 

Commer, E., 138. 

Communication of Idioms, 184 
sqq., 194, 198, 205, 216, 225, 
250, 251. 

Communion of Saints, 242. 

Composition, 146. 

Concupiscence, Christ s exemp 
tion from, 208, 210 sq. 

Concursus, The divine, 121. 

Confirmatio in gratia, 221, 222. 

Congregation of Rites, 293. 

Consciousness, Christ s Divine 
and Messianic, 259 sqq. 

Constantine Pogonatus, Em 
peror, 156. 

Constantinople, 147, 161. 

Constantinople, Council of, 
A. D. 543, 166; Second Ecu- 



menical Council of, 175 ; 
Fifth Ecumenical Council of, 
89, 1 10, in, 115, 193, 208, 
282; Sixth, 108, in, 156, 160, 
165, 167, 168, 215. 

Constantius II, Emperor, 156. 

Conybeare, 62. 

Copts, 148. 

Corrupticolae, 73, 148. 

Creation, The, 116, 121. 

Crucifixion, Caricature of the 
(// Crocifisso Graffito), 105. 

Cyprian, St., 28, 70, 152. 

Cyril of Alexandria, St., 7, 58, 
91, 105, 106, 108, 109, no, 
in, 114, 117, 134, 143, 145, 
148, 168, 203, 214, 230, 234, 
271, 281, 283. 

Cyril of Jerusalem, St., 158, 

159, 176. 

Cyrus, Patriarch of Alexan 
dria, 154. 

DAMASCENE, St. John, 7, 23, 
82, 107, 125, 129, 142, 151, 
159, 164, 181 sq., 200, 228, 271, 

Damasus, Pope, 50. 

Daniel, 15, 30. 

David, 64, 67, 107. 

De Bary, A., 174. 

Decretum pro lacobitis, 43, 50, 
74, 208. 

De Gallifet, J. (S. J.), 295. 

" Deificatio humanitatis ," 182, 

De Lugo, Fr., 7, 60, 82, 117, 124, 
126, 137, 193, 203, 205, 206, 
217, 218, 221, 223, 224, 230, 
231, 245, 273, 276, 288. 

De Lugo, Card. John, 220. 

AeoSoxos, 90. 

Devivier-Sasia, 12, 37. 

De Wette, 54. 

Dictionnaire Critique, 120. 

Didon, P. (O. P.), 39. 

Diekamp, Fr., 167, 200. 

Diodorus of Tarsus, 89. 

Diodorus Siculus, 113. 
Diognetus, Letter to, 25. 
Dionysius of Alexandria, 27. 
Dionysius, Pope, 27. 
Dionysius the Areopagite (see 

Pseudo-Dionysius) . 
Dioscorus, 148. 
Dippel, 62. 
Disteldorf, J. B., 37. 
Docetae, 41 sqq. (See also 

Docetism, 14, 39, 41 sqq., 61, 

72, 77, 81, 274. 
Dorner, J. A., 176. 
" Double Existence " of Christ, 

137 sqq. 
Doulcet, 25. 
Aov\ela f 192. 
Doxology, 194. 
Draseke, J., 25, 50. 
Driedo, 244. 
Drum, W. (S. J.), 8. 
" Duae naturae et tres substan- 

tiae" 59. 
" Duae operationes, sed unus 

operans," 161. 
Duchesne, L., 149. 
Duggan, J., 39. 
Dulia, 278, 287 sqq. 
Duothelitism, 161. 
Durand-Bruneau, 30, 39, 67. 
Durandus, 133, 141, 201, 213, 

216, 277. 
Dusterwald, 30. 

EBION, 43. 

Ecthesis, 156. ^ 

E7CJ/6TO, meaning of, in John I, 

14, 94- 
Egypt, 148. 
Einig, 8. 

Elect, The, 213, 242, 259. 
Elipandus of Toledo, 196, 197, 


Endler, 37. 
Enhuber, 206. axt ffiv , I2O. 
/caret avvOeviv^ 153. 



KaO inr6ffraffiv } 115. 

Evro\ri } 217 sqq. 

Ephesus, Third General Coun 
cil of, 73, 87, 89, 91, 96, 101, 
103, 105, 108, 115, 147, 183, 
185, 191, 211, 281, 291. 

Ephraem, St., 151. 

Epiphanius, St., 62, 100, 102, 

Epistula Dogmatica ad Flavia- 
num, 149, 155, 158. 

Epistula Dogmatica ad Impera- 
tores, Pope Agatho s, 156, 


Erasmus, 77. 

Esse essentiae, 138. 

Esse subsistentiae, 138. 

Estius, 199. 

Etchmiadzin, 149. 

Ethiopian liturgy, 169. 

Eucharist, The Holy, 85, 109, 
194, 242, 286. 

Eudoxius of Constantinople, 

Eugene IV, 43, 50, 74, 208. 

Eulogius, Patriarch of Alexan 
dria, 269, 271. 

Eusebius, 23. 

Eusebius of Vercelli, 6. 

Eutyches, 112, 147 sqq., 183. 

" Evening knowledge," 264, 274. 

Existence, 137 sqq., 141. 

" Factus ex muliere," 66, 167. 
" Factus ex semine David," 167. 
Father, God the, Could He 

have become man instead of 

the Son? 135 sqq. 
Faustus of Reji, 131. 
Feast of the Sacred Heart, 291, 


Feder, A. L. (S. J.), 24. 
Felder, H. (O. M. Cap.), 37, 

97, 261, 262, 270, 277. 
Felix III, Pope, 193. 
Felix of Urgel, 196, 197, 202. 
Fend, L., 115. 
Fenelon, 257. 

Filiation, No twofold in Christ, 

196 sqq., 201 sqq. 
Florence, Council of, 43, 50, 74. 
Fames peccati, 208, 210. 
Fonck, L. (S. J.), 37. 
. Forma Dei, 95, 150, 192. 
Forma existentiae, 137. 
Forma servi, 45, 95, 150, 192. 
Fraidl, 30. 
Frankfort, Council of (A. D. 

794), 60, 192, 197, 202, 203. 
Franzelin, Card., 5, 8, 54, 68, 

88, 103, 104, in, 127, 129, 

131, 135, 139, 143, 144, 145, 

146, 172, 178, 194, 217, 220, 

246, 280, 289. 
Fraser, R., 37. 
Freddi-Sullivan (S. J.), 37, 39, 

177, 178. 

Friedrich, Ph., 229. 
Fulgentius, St., 7, 57, 66, 168, 

195, 205, 214, 253, 262, 267. 
Funk, 21, 22, 42, 46, 49, 62, 115, 

149, 155, 157, 176. 

GABRIEL, Archangel, 212. 

Gajanus, 73. 

Galatia, 176. 

Garnerius, 115. 

TevvnOevra, 64. 

Teyy-rjais, 203, 204. 

Giannoni, K., 206. 

Gibbon, 41. 

Gilgamesh Epic, 2. 

Gilmartin, T., 115, 155, 206. 

Glory, 255. 

Gnostics, 41, 61. 

Godman, 94. 

Gonet, 138, 140, 141, 223. 

Grace, 202, 214, 232. 

Graffito Blasfemo, 105. 

Granbery, J. C, 47. 

Gratia capitis, 236, 239 sqq., 243, 


Gratia unionis, 226, 230 sqq. 
Graun, 39. 
Greeks, 69. 



Gregory of Nazianzus, St., 57, 

99, 103, 106, 151, 180, 227, 271. 
Gregory of Nyssa, St., 17. 
Gregory of Valentia, 7, 117, 

126, 139, 220, 258 sq. 

regory the ( 

269, 271, 272. 

_ sq. 
Gregory the Great, St., 211, 

269, 271, 272. 
Grimm, J., 39. 
Grisar, H. (S. J.), 

105, 155, 


Gtinther, Anton, 120, 125, 213, 

248, 270. 
Gutberlet, C, 29, 37, 178. 


HADRIAN I, 60, 192, 196, 202, 

Hake, P., 31, 34, 36, 37. 

Hales, Alexander of, 130. 

Hall, F. J., 96, 262, 277. 

Hanna, E. J., 277. 

Hardouin, 143, 202, 203, 291. 

Harnack, Adolph, 13 sq., 19, 20, 
3i .sq., 33, 35, 36. 

Harris, Rendel, 23. 

Harty, J. M., 277. 

Headship, Christ s, of all crea 
tures, 239 sqq. ; of the angels, 
243 sqq., 273. 

Heart, 293. 

Heart of Jesus (see Sacred 

Heathen, 243. 

Heaven, 250, 251. 

Hefele, 176, 206. 

Hegemonic principle, 164, 165. 

Heiner, F., 20, 28. 

Heinrich, 8, 178. 

Hell, 243, 246. 

Hennemann, K., 34, 246. 

Henno, 143. 

Heraclius, Emperor, 156. 

Heretics, 242 sq. 

Hermas, Shepherd of, 22. 

Hettinger, F., 29, 36, 37. 

High Priest, Christ our, 175. 

Hilary, St., 68, 76 sqq., 83, 152, 
200 sq., 271. 

Hilgenfeld, 21. 

Hippolytus, St., 99. 

Holiness, 208; Substantial, 224; 

Accidental, 231. 
Holiness, Human, of Christ, 

207 sqq., 224 sqq., 231 sqq. 
Holtzclau (S. J.), 7. 
Holy Ghost, 135, 204, 205, 210, 

233, 235. 

"Homo adoptivus," 201. 
"Homo deifer," 191. 
" Homo dominions ," 191. 
Homoousia, Christ s with the 

Father, 63. 

Homoousion, 49, 63, 91. 
Honoratus of Aries, 6. 
Honorius, Pope, 155. 
Hormisdas, Pope, 193 sq. 
Human knowledge of Christ, 

The, 247 sqq.; Beatific, 249 

sqq.; Infused, 263 sqq.; Ex 

perimental, 273 sqq. 
Hume, 139. 
Humphrey, W. (S. J.), 178, 247, 

263, 274, 277, 295. 

> > - 
Hurtado, M., 223. 

Hurtado, P., 126. 

Hurter, H. (S. J.), 83, 144. 

Hutton, W. H., 89, 177. 

Hyle, 42. 

Hyperdulia, 278, 287 sqq. 

Hypostasis, 100, 101, 103, 113 

sqq., 122, 124, 138. 

Hypostasis Christi compo- 

sita," 145. 
Hypostatic Union, The, 49, 85 

sqq., 116 sqq., 132 sq., 166 

sqq. ; Effects of the, 178 sqq., 

227, 247, 254 sqq. 


IBAS of Edessa, 89. 

Ignatius of Antioch, 45, 47, 55, 
67,. 98. 

Illusionists, 41. 

Impeccabilitas, externa and in 
ternet, 213 sq. 

Impeccability of Christ, 213 



Impeccantia (see Sinlessness). 

Incarnation, The, 5, 95, 100, 
113, 1 1 8, 122, 132 sqq., 167, 
190, 243, 283. 

Inconfusion of the two natures 
in Christ, 147 sqq. 

Inexistentia mutua, 181, 183. 

Infused knowledge, 263 sqq. 

Innocent III, 131. 

Innocent XII, 257. 

Inseparability of the two na 
tures in Christ, 166 sqq. 

Irenasus, St., 25, 26, 47, 55, 67, 

Irish Theological Quarterly, 96, 
272, 277. 

Isaias, 69, 192, 212. 

Isidore of Sevilla, 196. 


JACOB, 29. 

Jacobites, 148. 

Jacobus Baradai, 148. 

Jansenists, 284, 291. 

Janssens, L. (O. S. B.), 8, 39, 

60, 71, 77, 115, 120, 131, 136, 

137, 146, 152, 155, 174, 180, 

195, 217, 229, 239, 246, 251, 

264, 270, 290. 
Jerome, St., 81. 
Jerusalem, 30, 34, 173. 
Jews, 29, 34, 44, 69. 
Job, 19. 

John, A certain canon, 83. 
John of Antioch, 109. 
John of Damascus, St. (see 


John, St. (the Baptist), 267. 
John, St. (the Evangelist), 10, 

25, 93, 94, 198, 212, 251. 
Johnson, F., 70. 
Jordan, The River, 198. 
Josephus, Flavius, 34. 
Tox, A., 173. 

Joyce, G. H. (S. J.), IQ7- 
Judas the traitor, 33, 34. 
Jude, St., 18. 
Judgment, Was Christ ignorant 

of the day of ? 270 sqq. 

Julianists, 148. 
Julian of Halicarnassus, 73. 
Julian of Toledo, St., 60. 
Tulian the Apostate, 105. 
Funglas, J. P., 84. 
fungmann, J. (S. J.), 8, 295. 
Tustin Martyr, 24, 59, 105, 106. 

KARNAK, 70. 

Kaufmann, C. M., 70, 105. 

Kaulen, F., 70. 

Kenosis, The, 95 sq., 272, 277. 

Kent, W. H. (O. S. C), 295. 

Ketterer, J. A., 206. 

Kiefl, F. X., 38. 

Kihn, H., 8, 25. 

King, Jesus the eternal, 175. 

King of kings, Christ the, 241. 

Kirch, C. (S. J.), 34, 104. 

Kirchenlexikon, 155, 197. 

Kirsch, J. P., 242. 

Kirschkamp, J., 277. 

Klee, 248. 

Kleutgen, J. (S. J.), 16, 33, 39, 
120, 146, 255, 256, 270, 271, 
272, 277. 

Knoodt, 120. 

Knowledge, The human, of 
Christ, 247 sqq. ; Beatific, 249 
sqq. ; Infused, 263 sqq. ; Ex 
perimental, 273 sqq. 

Kopallik, J., 115. 

Kpdcris, 152. 

Krebs, E., 8. 

Kuhn, Ph., 150, 176. 

Kiinstle, Dr. K., 6, 42. 


Lateran Council (A. D. 649), 

Hi, 140, 156, 162. 
Latria, 16, 278 sqq., 287, 288. 
Laurent, 248. 
Lazarus, 75, 158, 163, 252. 
Lebreton, J., 14, 268, 269, 272, 

Leclercq, H., 71. 



Legrand, 8, 223. 

Lehmen, A. (S. J.), 139, 144. 

Lendovsek, M., 37. 

Leontius of Byzantium, 7, 109, 

127, 271. 
Leo, St., The Great, 68, 78, 108, 

117, 143, 149, 155, 158, 168, 

183, 214, 253. 
Leo XIII, 291. 
Lepicier, 277. 
Lepm, M., 8, 33, 37, 277. 
Leporius, 103, 181, 266, 270. 
Leroy, L., 293, 295. 
Lessius, 118, 119, 220, 222. 
Leveque, 89. 
Liddon, H. P., 8, 14, 18, 27, 29, 

34, 37, 64, 97, 105. 
Light foot, 104. 
" Likeness," 45. 
Limborgh, E. H., 206. 
Limbourg, M. (S. J.), 139. 
Locke, 139. 
Logic, 187, 197. 
Ao-yos dVap/cos, 10, 123, 280. 
Aoyos arpeTTTos, 122. 
Aoyos fvdiddeTos 23. 
Ao7os Ipffap/coj, 10, 123, 1 88, 281. 
Ao7os 7rpo0opi/c6s, 23. 
Ao7os ffTrepfj.a.TiK6s t 23. 
Lord s Prayer, 31. 
Lord, Title of, 20 sq. 
Lucian, 104. 
Lucius Verus, 24. 
Luke, St., 275. 
Lumen gloriae, 242, 248, 255, 


Luther, 194. 
Lyons, Second Council of, 42. 


MAAS, A. J. (S. J.), 29, 30. 
Macarius of Antioch, 43. 
M Kee, J. R., 242. 
Magi, 282. 

Maher, M. (S. J.), 275. 
Maldonatus, 232, 259. 
Mandatum Pair is, 217, 218 sqq. 
Mangenot, E., 8, 37. 
Manichaeans, 42. 

Mann, H. K., 197, 206. 

Mansi, 160, 161. 

Mantua, 173. 

Maranus, Prudentius, 37, 88, 


Marcellus of Ancyra, 174, 176. 
Marcion, 25, 41, 43, 46, 56, 61. 
Marcionites, 41. 
Marcus Aurelius, 24. 
Margaret Mary Alacoque, 

Blessed, 291. 
Mariology, 2, 67. 
Marionites, 157. 
Mark XIII 32, 270 sqq. 
Maron, John, 157. 
Marsh, G. W. B., 37. 
Marsilius, 277. 
Martin I, in, 140, 156, 162. 
Martyrs, 220, 258. 
Mary, B. V., 2, 39, 61, 62, 63, 

65, 67, 68 sq.; 79, 90, 103, 

104, 152, 167, 189, 190, 211, 

212, 221, 232, 278, 288. 

Mass, The Holy, 171. 
Maxentius, John, 123, 193. 
Maximus Confessor, 7, 129, 

156, 160, 162. 
Mayr, A., 127, 223. 
Medina, 138, 290. 
Melchisedech, 175. 
Melito of Sardes, 98. 
Meschler, M. (S. J.), 39. 
Mesopotamia, 148. 
Messianic prophecies, 28. 
Messias, Christ the, 29 sq., 192, 

259 sq. 
Mia <f>vffis afffapKu^vrj, 108 saa 


Michael, Archangel, 22. 
Michael Palaeologus, 42. 
Micrococcus prodigiosus, 173. 
Milman, 41. 
Minjard, E. C, 8. 
Miracles of Christ, 34 sqq. 
Mffw, 152. 
Mixtura, 152. 
Modernism, 8, 13, 20, 28, 96, 

248, 249, 261. 
Molina, 127, 222. 
Molinists, 223. 



Monas prodigiosa Ehrenberg, 


Monj 0u<m, 148. 
Monergetae, 154. 
Monogamy, 224. 
Monophysitism, 72, 73, 102, 

105, 1 06, 107, 109, in, 113, 

121, 125, 128, 147 sqq., 153, 

158, 162, 183, 185, 189, 193, 

Monothelitism, 108, 154 sqq., 

183, 210. 
" Morning knowledge," 264, 


Morris, J., 40. 
Moses, 90, 251. 
Mozarabic liturgy, 196, 201. 
Mulier, 68 sqq. 
Miiller, G. A., 70, 84. 
Miinscher, 54. 

Muratorian Fragment, The, 22. 
Mysteries, Theological, 116. 
"Mystery of Christ," The, 116. 

Nix, H. J. (S. J.), 295. 
Noetus, 102. 
Nominalists, 213. 
Nous, 49. 


Obiectum manifestativum, 280, 
289, 293. 

Ointment, 227. 

Olivet, Mount, 174. 

Omniscience, Natural, 276. 

Operatio deivirilis, 161. 

Ophites, 41. 

Origen, 26, 27, 105, 167, 227, 

Original Sin, Christ s exemp 
tion from, 208 sqq. 

Op/feii>, 199. 

Oswald, J. H., 8, 88, 178, 180. 

Ovffia } 1 13 sq. 

Oussani, G., 30. 


NATURE and Person, The mu 
tual relationship of, 124 sqq. 

Nau, F., 115. 

Neander, 54. 

Neo-Adoptionism, 197. 

Nerva, Emperor, 21. 

Nestorianism, 89 sqq., 102, no, 
112, 113, 120, 125, 147, 149, 
183, 185, 191, 193, 196, 197, 
200, 268, 269, 283. 

Nestorius 90 sqq., 96, 97, 101, 
103, in, 112, 114, 120, 128, 
168, 183, 186, 189, 197, 266, 
268, 283. 

Neury Saint-Sepulchre, 173. 

Newman, Card., 10, 23, 37, 101, 
108, 109, in, 113, 115, 122, 
161, 163, 164, i6; ?> 174, 176. 

Nicsea, First Council of, 27, 
96, 1 14, 291 ; Second Council 
of, 195. 

Nicene Creed, 175. 

Nicephorus Callistus, 167, 268. 

Nilles, N. (S. J.), 294, 295. 


Pallayicini, 218, 223. 

Palmieri, 243. 

Paradise, 243. 

Passibility of Christ, 72 sqq., 

Passiones, unvversales and par 
ticular es, 81. 

Passion, The, 30, 165, 170, 173, 
218, 257, 274. 

noL0ti, 81. 

Patiss, G. (S. J.), 84. 

Patripassianism, 73, 133. 

Paul, St., 8, 65, 67, 75, 83, 95, 
96, 114, 118, 150, 175, 192, 
198, 199, 209, 212, 227, 241, 
273, 283. 

Paul V, Pope, 214. 

Paulicians, 62. 

Paulinus of Aquileja, 196. 

Pelagianism, 91, 103. 

Perichoresis, Trinitarian, 134, 
135, 179 sq. ; Christological, 
179 sqq. 

Person, 114, 120, 124 sqq. 



Personality, There is but one 
in Christ, 102 sqq. ; Is it a 
metaphysical entity? 126; Of 
the Logos, 229 sq. 

Pesch, Chr. (S. J.), 8, 119, 
127, 129, 139, 144, 174, 220, 

222, 224, 226, 251, 254, 259, 
272, 288, 289, 294. 

Petavius, 56, 58, 67, 77, 87, 88, 
99, HI, 115, 117, 127, 152, 
164, 168, 170, 193, 196, 215, 
218, 229, 231, 250, 253, 271, 

283, 287. 

Peter Lombard, 77, 130, 214. 

Peter, St., 17, 34, 156. 

Petersen, 62. 

Peter the Fuller, 148, 193. 

Phantasiastae, 73. 

Pharao, 90. 

&0apTo\a.Tpai t 73, 148. 

Philip of Harvengt, 83. 

Philippus Bardanes, 156 sq. 

Philippus Bonae Spei, 83. 

Philo, 23. 

Photinus of Sirmium, 174. 

Photius, 269, 271. 

Piccirelli (S. J.), 139. 

Pistoia, Jansenist Council of, 

284, 291. 

Pius VI, 284, 291, 294. 

Pius IX, 291. 

Platonism, 23, 49. 

Pliny, 104. 

Uvewa, 49, 53, 54. 

Poenalitates assumed by Christ, 


Poland, 294. 

Pollen, G. C H. (S. J.), 35, 38. 
Polycarp, St., 25. 
Pope, The, 244. 
Possessor, Bishop, 193. 
Possibility and existence, 137 


" Praedestinatus" 199. 
Prat, K, 8, 14, 96, 97, 209. 
Predication of Idioms, 186 sqq. 
Pre-existence, 22. 
Priscillianists, 42. 
HpOTrdOetai, 82. 
Propassiones, 82. 

Prophecies of Christ, 34 sq. 
Protevangelium, i, 69. 
Prototype, 279. 
Psalm XLIV, 227. 
Pseudo-Dionysius, 161, 245. 
Purgatory, 242. 

Quiros, 126. 



Rationalism, 13, 16, 31. 
Raynaud, Theoph., 277. 
Reason, The dogma of the Hy~ 

postatic Union in relation 

to, 116 sqq. 

Redemption, The, i, 67, 80. 
Reformers, Protestant, 270. 
Rehrmann, A., 7. 
Reichenau, 173. 
Reinke, L., 37. 
Relations per son," 120. 
Resurrection of Christ, 36, 73, 

169, 195, 238, 257. 
Rettberg, G., 174. 
Richbod of Treves, 196. 
Rickaby, John (S J.), 139 
Rickaby, Jos. (S. J.), 7, 37- 
Rittler, A., 139. 
Riva, 218. 

Riviere-Cappadelta, 40. 
Robber Synod, The, of Ephe- 

sus, 148. 

Robinson, Armitage, 23. 
Roboam, 70. 
Rome, 173, 223. 
Rome, Council at (A. D. 380), 

Rose, V. (O. P.), 37- 

Rufinus, 101. 

Ruiz, 253. 

Rules for the Predication of 

Idioms, 187 sqq. 
Rusticus Diaconus, 129, 133, 

154, 165. 



SABELLIANISM, 133, 136. 
Sacred Heart of Jesus, Devo 
tion to the, 280, 290 sqq. 
St. Victor, Hugh of, 130, 170, 


St. Victor, Richard of, 130. 
Salmanticenses, 7. 
Salmeron, 259. 
Sanctifying grace, 224, 225, 231, 

242. t 

s, 55. 

, 49, 54, 59, 209. 
Satan, 66, 211. 
Saturnilus, 41. 
Sawicki, F., 34. 
Schafer, Alois, 20, 69, 119. 
Schanz, P., 12. 
Schazler, C. von, 8, 88. 
Scheeben, Jos., 8, 88, 178, 229, 


Schell, H., 15, 37, 261, 265, 270. 
Schiffini, S. (S. J.), 126. 
Schmid, Fr., 40, 84, 126, 146, 


Schopfer, A., 31. 
Schwane, J., 8, 88, 155. 
Schwetz, 287. 
Scientia per accidens infusa, 

276, 277. 
Scotists, 127, 130, 136, 139, 172, 

201, 213, 220, 224, 243. 
Scotus, John Duns, 127, 130, 

201, 213, 245. 
Scythian monks, The so-called, 


Seitz, A., 15, 34, 262, 272, 283. 

Selbst, J., 31. 

Seleucians, 174. 

Sergius, Patriarch of Constan 
tinople, 154, 155, 160. 

Sergius, Pope, 60. 

Sermon on the Mount, 31. 

" Servant of God," 192. 

" Servus Dei" 192. 

Seven gifts of the Holy Ghost, 
234, 238, 239. 

Severians, 73, 148, 161, 268. 

Severus of Antioch, 73. 

Shahan, Msgr., 27. 

Shaw, J. F., 7. 

Sheppard, W. T. C. (O. S. B.), 

96, 272. 

Simar, H. T., 8, 178. 
Sin, 217, 222. 
Sinlessness of Christ, 32, 208 

Socrates (Church historian), 


Sollier, J. F., 50, 197. 
Solomon, 248, 264, 272, 277. 
Somerville, D., 14. 
Son of Adam, Christ a, 53, 61 


Son of David, 64. 
Son of God, 14, 16, 101, 212, 

Son of Man, 14, 44, 53, 205, 

250, 251. 
Sonship, Christ s Divine, 33, 

196 sqq. 
Sophronms, St., 59, 143, 154, 

155,. 159, 162, 269. 
Soteriology, 2, 6. 
Soto, 244. 
Souben, J., 8. 
Spiritism, 41. 
Stans, 173. 
Stentrup, F. A. (S. J.), 8, 68, 

77, 88, 103, in, 127, 139, 164, 

196, 246, 253, 271. 
Stephen, St., 233. 
Stoicism, 23. 
Suarez, 7, 37, 39, 71, 117, 126, 

139, 143, 144, 168, 170, 193, 

203, 205, 215, 220, 222, 226, 
230, 235, 241, 243, 244, 246, 
249, 271, 273, 276, 287. 

Subordinationism, 26, 27. 

" Superman," Christ as the 

ideal, 32. 

Supposition of terms, 197. 
Syllabus of Pius X, 20, 28, 270. 
Symperichoresis (see Pericho- 

Syria, 148. 

TABOR, Mt, 80. 
Tacitus, 34. 

3 io 


Tanner, 139, 222. 

Tanquery, A., 96. 

Te\ei6r?7S, 107. 

Temptations of Christ, 210 sq., 


Tepe, G. B. (S. J.), 8, 30, 34, 
36, 126, 131, 134, 139, 174, 
217, 220, 223, 224, 276, 277. 

Terrien, J. B. (S. J.), 138, 144, 

Tertullian, 27, 46, 55, 56, 66, 70, 
99, 195, 152, 210. 

Tetradism, 108. 

Thadcleus, Legend of, 71. 

Theandric operation, 161 sqq., 

Gedj/flpcoTTos, 94. 

Oe/wcris, 182. 

Themistius, 268, 269, 270. 

Theodore, Bishop of Pharan, 


Theodore of Mopsuestia, 89, 
90, 208, 268. 

Theodoret of Cyrus, 7, 89, 109, 

Theodosius, 268. 

Theologische Quartahchrift, 

Theopaschitism, 73, 148, 193, 

Geo06pos, 90, 191. 

Qeorroltjffis, 247. 

Theosophism, 41. 

OeoT6/cos, 90, 91, 167. 

Thomas a Kempis, 212. 

Thomas, St. (Apostle), 36. 

Thomas, St. (Aquinas), On 
three substances in Christ, 
60; On ^why it was proper 
that Christ should share our 
bodily weaknesses, 82 sq. ; 
The Logos, by assuming 
manhood, did not experience 
an increase of extrinsic per 
fection, 123 sq. ; On the dis 
tinction between nature and 
person, 130 sq. ; On the pos 
sibility of the Father or the 
Holy Ghost becoming incar 
nate, 135; On the possibility 

of all three Divine Persons 
subsisting in one human na 
ture, 136; On the distinction 
between essence and exist 
ence, 144; On the Precious 
Blood, 171, 173; On the Com 
munication of Idioms, 186 
sq. ; On adoptive sonship, 
202; On Christ s natural di 
vine sonship, 204 sq. ; On the 
impeccability of Christ, 215 
sq. ; On obedience, 219; On 
sanctifying grace in Christ, 
235; On Christ s advance in 
grace, 237; On Christ s be 
atific vision, 238, 257 ; On the 
relation between head and 
body, 240; On Christ s uni 
versal headship, 256; On the 
incomprehensibility of the Di 
vine Essence, 262 sq. ; On 
the infused knowledge of 
Christ, 264, 266; On the ex 
perimental knowledge of 
Christ, 275; On Christ s ad 
vance in knowledge, 276; On 
the worship of dulia as ren 
dered to Christ, 289. Refer 
ences : 7, 37, 39, 58, 72, 77, 79, 
81, 83, 84, 88, 117, 131, 133, 

137, 140, 146, 154, 195, 201, 
211, 214, 225, 230, 239, 240, 
245, 246, 252, 253, 258, 263, 
267, 272, 273, 276, 283, 290. 

Thomassin, 39, 54, 152, 253. 

Thomists, 137 sqq., 219, 223, 
243, 245, 287. 

" Three Chapters," The, 89, 129. 

" Three Substances," The theo 
logical formula of, 59 sqq. 

Tiberius, Emperor, 156. 

Timothy, 268. 

Tiphanus, 127, 129, 130, 145. 

Tixeront, J., 8, 22, 26, 27, 28, 
47, 56, 61, 71, 88, 106. 

Toledo, Council of (A. D. 447), 
42; Sixth Council of, 133; 
Eleventh Council of (A. D. 
675), 60, 140, 169; Fourteenth 
Council of (A. 0.684), 60. 


Toletus, 139, 220, 277. 

Toner, P. J., 96. 

Tostatus, Alphonsus, 172. 

Totum, 146. 

Trajan, Emperor, 104. 

Trent, Council of, 172, 242. 

Triduum mortis, 169, 170, 171, 
172, 190. 

Trinity, The Divine, 3, 10, 100, 
103, 108, 113, 115, 116, 119, 
123, 132 sqq., 141, 160, 163, 
164, 193 sq., 200, 202, 204, 
205, 229, 244, 252. 

Tritheism, 120. 

Trullan Council, 156. 

Trypho, 24. 

Typus, 156. 


Ubicatio localis of Christ s 

body, 195. 
Ubiquitarianism, 192, 194 sqq., 

Unitas, substantialis, accidenta- 

lis, moralis, 85 sq. 
Unitio secundum subsistentiam, 


Unity, Species of, 85 sq. 
" Unus de SS. Trinitate cruci- 

fixus est," 193 sqq. 
Urban VIII, Pope, 194. 
Urraburu, 126, 139, 170. 

Vienne, Council of, 51, 53. 
Vincent of Lerins, 6. 
Virgin birth, The, 30, 65. 
Virtues, The infused moral, 238 

Virtues, The three theological, 


Vision theory, The so-called, 36. 
Voisin, G., 50. 
Volto Santo, 70. 
Von der Aa, 126. 


WALCH, Chr., 176. 
Waldhauser, M., 96, 277. 
Weigel, 62. 
Weingarten, 173. 
Wiclif, John, 284. 
Wilhelm-Scannell, 8, 88, 146, 

155, 176, 178, 196, 202, 206, 

209, 247, 256, 295. 
Will, Ethical perfection of 

Christ s human, 207 sqq. 
William of Paris, 77. 
Wirceburgenses, 7. 
" Woman," The, 69. 
Worship, Notion of, 278 sqq.; 

Objects of, 279 sq. 
Worship, Christ claimed divine, 

16; Is entitled to divine, 278 

Wounds, The five sacred, 280, 


Valentinus, 39, 43, 61, 63. 
Van Noort, 8. 
Vasquez, 60, 126, 130, 139, 202, 

203, 204, 205, 215, 220, 230, 

231, 277, 287, 288. 
Vassall-Phillips, O. R. (C.SS. 

R-), 12,35,37- 

Vatican Council, 116, 118, 213. 
Vavasseur, 70. 
Velasquez, 218, 224. 
Veronica, St., 70. 

YAHWEH, 16, 18. 
Tio0ecr/a, 192. 
"T7rapu, ioO. 
TTT^ffTacrts, 100. 
Ysambert, 7, 220, 221. 

ZAHN, Th., 174. 

Zigabenus, Euthymius, 143, 144. 

Zwingli, 194. 

BT 220 .P713 1913 SMC 
Pohle, Joseph, 
Christology 47163982